The Greeks certainly know a thing or two about life. After all, our entire civilisation was founded on Greek philosophy and teaching.
The following story goes back a way although not quite as far back as the early Greek philosophers (I’m not that senior) although it is thanks to the Greeks I now understand where this lesson came from.
Steve ‘wrote me a letter’ (did I mention this went back a way?) He was looking for a job in sales and wanted to break into my industry at the time – he fancied himself as a top-gun salesman and by the sounds of the letter he knew the business.
Out of courtesy I wrote him back and arranged an interview.
On the day we met it was evident Steve was not the picture of ‘traditional(?)’ suit wearing salesman. His stocky frame was draped in a jacket that was overly sized, the trousers were a tad short with unkempt shoes… and the tie – yes there was a tie somewhere.
There was a bead of perspiration over his brow that gave a hint of anticipation to our meeting. But hey, it was a warm day for the jacket(!) and Steve was here, he turned up on time, so we talked.
It seemed Steve had been out of work for a while, he was likeable, had some experience, he was locally focused and he was willing to prove himself.
Steve also had that most important ingredient we look for in any relationship, Steve displayed passion. Steve was so convinced that he could make a difference to our organisation and his own well-being that it didn’t take me long to offer him a trial working alongside one other, more ‘conventional’ sales-type … much to the dismay of ‘personnel.’
Ok, back to the Greek thing …
Three ingredients make up any conversation according to our ancient teachers.
Ethos .. This is the character of the speaker, or person you are conversing with.
Pathos .. The emotional connection that you have during the dialogue
Logos .. The factual content that make up the conversation, the words.
The Greeks of old believed that to hear your message the listener first needed to positively connect on an emotional level before they even began to listen to what you had to say. If they don’t buy in to you, then the message is lost.
Still with me?
OK, my experience working with Steve proved a most enjoyable (and profitable) time.
Although Steve wasn’t that archetypal salesperson from our kind of sector, (is there one?) he proved passionate; he connected with the emotional. Steve is able to succeed by displaying an inbred passion for the job, passion for success.
The message has stayed with me. Everyone has a particular skill that may not be evident at first meeting, we simply need to give some time, don’t you think?
It’s about ‘people buying people,’ the Greeks taught us that one, Steve had simply reminded me.