Nobody could fail to see the impact made by the language of political discourse today. As we potentially enter a new chapter in history, how we think, feel and experience the world sits at the tip of our tongue. Similarly, all good businesses have discourse as one of the major cornerstones of their company – as a business that communicates at every level, succeeds at every level. Across all sectors, discourse is what sets a business apart, both at a major and micro level. As technological advancements have impacted business communication, we have seen business discourse come into its own, developing what some have called its own language. Blue Donkey has understood the importance of discourse in its two decades of operations, specialising in telemarketing and placing a great deal of importance on tailored communication which acts as a bridge between a company and its clients.
The art of discourse is an ancient and elaborate one, first articulated by the Ancient Greeks. From Aristotle to Plato, it was these philosophers who founded the cultural framework of our modern society. Plato’s three works Republic, Symposium and Phaedrus each laid out the rich tapestry of discourse, dissected by Plato in the form of narrative dialogue between characters. As James Henderson Collins puts it, Plato composed dramatic protreptic speeches in which someone converts (or tries to convert) a person to a new way of living.
Focusing on love, aesthetics, politics et al, it’s from Plato’s intense and beautifully brocaded speeches in these three works that form our understanding of just how discourse should work in a society. Its primary functions in forging bonds, winning an argument and most importantly, keeping order, is what businesses need to refresh themselves in.
What we can forever learn from the Ancient Greeks is how to continue perfecting our discourse in the business environment. The art of persuasion, most of all, is imperative for all business structures to subscribe to. This mode of discourse was summarised by Aristotle in three parts: pathos, ethos and logos.
Powownow gives some advice on how Aristotelian methods of persuasion can help us win over a meeting: “Firstly, in terms of logical (Logos) appeal, it is smart to make sure your meetings and calls have solid content and agendas, with clear facts and evidence to back up your points. Secondly, in terms of the character elements (Ethos), it is important to run meetings fairly and honestly so that people can trust your advice and lead, based on your background and experience. Finally, all the writers and research over the years reinforces that it is smart to recognise the emotional (Pathos) content too; we can add creative openings and bring our business ideas to life with good examples, stories and personal information – to bring the right level of emotional engagement into a meeting.”
In The Guardian, Jules Evans lists 7 methods from Ancient Greek Philosophy, from the likes of Plutarch and Epictetus, that help business leaders become better at fostering an atmosphere of positivity and personal growth for their employees, which ultimately leads to a successful business culture. Scouring the mountains of knowledge the Greek philosophers imparted to us, Jules has sourced such pearls of wisdom as how to let people seek fulfilment, daring to disagree, keeping track of your ethical progress, the art of happiness, building a resilient mindset and being a good role model, each can easily be incorporated into every business model. “I’ve met and interviewed hundreds of people who have used ancient Greek and Roman philosophies to help them live their lives better” he says “Including soldiers, astronauts, politicians and business leaders. They all used philosophy to help them achieve “eudaimonia”, by which the Greeks meant “flourishing” or “the good life”.”
The diversity of knowledge businesses can apply by simply taking the time to understand what the Ancient Greeks meant by healthy discourse, is indeed a formula for success.