Conference calls have long been a part of business, but in a way, we can trace group communications back to our earliest societies. For example, many Aboriginal Australians used smoke signals to let others know when they were entering foreign and unknown lands.This action would encourage those in the new territory to message back with their own smoke signals, and thus in this fantastic example, we can see that group communications are an ancient art form.
Across lands, across oceans
As we're all aware, contemporary business communications happen not just in real board rooms, but all over the world from multiple locations. Communicating over distance in the past was a complicated and time-consuming activity, usually needing a finely tuned set of communicative and business skills.
Being able to deliver a clear and concise message during long-distance conference calls - as well as board room discussions - is an art form unto itself, but thankfully there have been many from outside and within the business community who have sound and worthwhile wisdom to learn from.
Ethos, pathos, and logos
Aristotle, who is arguably one of the most esteemed philosophers of all time, developed a set of rules and guidelines for the art of argument and persuasion, which he called rhetoric.
We're all trying to get our own points across and have our ideas heard, and sometimes it can all get lost in the mix - this is why careful and purposeful discussion is an essential business skill, paramount to all others.
Aristotle argued that ethos, pathos and logos were the foundations of a sound argument. To save you an Honours degree worth of reading, put simply, ethos is who you are why we should believe you: essentially your credibility.
Pathos is what you use to connect emotionally with your opponent/co-conversationalist - which is possibly the strongest aspect of all three components. Creating an emotional connection with someone, be it a friend or work colleague, is essential if you wish to have your point taken sincerely.
Pathos is necessary for a group-think, conference call type scenario, where emotional social signals such as call etiquette (waiting for your turn to speak) can play to your advantage.
Logos is the meaning of the words and the consistency of the argument. It is important to have an argument or an idea that makes sense, and can be made sense of by others. By combining this trinity of rhetoric and incorporating it into the way business conversations are conducted, more satisfying outcomes can be had from conference calls.
How video collaboration can help
Contemporary business calls are no longer restricted to just sound, as video is now a standard addition to some telephonic software systems. With the introduction of VoIP technology into the business communications toolkit, many are experiencing the benefits video can have for company-wide communications and global teleconferences.
With the ability to use video conferences on mobile or tablet devices, sales representatives that are on-the-go and overseas clients can be told of exciting new events with ease and efficiency. Video is a medium that allows for greater expression of ideas and emotions, and therefore acts as a better more persuasive mode for business communication.
There can be breakdowns in valuable communications when technology and interpersonal communications aren't at their full potential, and both are necessary for business to run smoothly. We know updating your business phone system can be scary, but this FREE eBook is sure to calm your fears:
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