I recently came across the Rhetorical Triangle Technique (RTT) while researching techniques for team coaching to be included in the upcoming Digital-savvy Leadership program. RTT is a communication and persuasion technique; it helps you craft your communication that is both credible and affecting. It was developed by the Greek philosopher Aristotle, who believed it could be used in any persuasive argument you have.
Rhetoric is the art of persuasive writing, and there are many theories, devices and tools within rhetoric that people use to make their words more impactful. The rhetorical triangle is a method of organizing a persuasive argument using three elements of rhetoric; Ethos, Pathos and Logos.
Ethos- establishing your credibility as a speaker
Pathos- arousing the emotions of your listeners
Logos- using logical reasoning to appeal to the intellect
I believe RTT is a powerful tool that can be used for team coaching. We can craft credible and compelling arguments by considering all three triangle elements.
Let’s look at each of them:
Ethos is all about establishing trustworthiness. The more trustworthy the coach appears, the more likely the teams will be persuaded by their argument. There are various ways to establish ethos, including sharing personal experiences or credentials.
Pathos is all about appealing to the emotions of the audience. The more emotional appeal an argument has, the more likely it is to persuade. Pathos can be effective, positively and negatively, depending on the desired outcome. For example, positive emotions like hope or happiness can inspire people to take action. In contrast, negative emotions like fear or anger can be used to motivate people to avoid certain risks.
Logos is all about using logic and reasoning to appeal to the audience’s intellect. A well-reasoned argument is more likely to be persuasive than based on emotion or personal appeal alone. Logical arguments often make use of data or evidence to support their claims.
As you can see, the three appeals of ethos, pathos and logos are essential in persuasive speeches and arguments. Of course, understanding how to use each appeal is necessary in order to create a successful argument.
How do I apply to team coaching?
In order to be convincing, a coach must appeal to the team’s senses. Ethos relates to the coach’s appeal, pathos relates to the appeal of the team, and logos relates to the appeal of the argument itself. All three elements are essential in order to persuade teams effectively. However, you can even use it to convince your friend why this movie WASN’T really good (Ethos) to get someone else excited about something they might not otherwise care much for( Logos).
The three elements of the rhetorical triangle are interconnected, and all three must be considered when crafting your argument. For your team to believe what you’re saying, you must establish yourself as a credible source. This can be done by sharing your qualifications and experiences and using language that conveys trustworthiness.
Once you have established your credibility, you can begin to appeal to your team’s emotions. This is where you’ll use language that evokes certain feelings or tell stories that resonate with your team members, such as stories related to the current situation or stories about the organization from the past.
Lastly, you’ll use logic and reasoning to support your claims. This is where you’ll use data, statistics, or other forms of evidence to back up what you’re saying.
You can learn more about being a persuasive coach or get help creating an argument for your upcoming debate by contacting me. I will discuss these topics during the Digital Savvy Leadership program.
Any questions? Drop us a line here.