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Many of us are fully aware that emotions are the real catalyst for change. Logic alone will rarely if ever, push us to make a meaningful difference in our lives or our behaviour. The same thing is real when choosing between adopting new and innovative strategies or not. Before we can develop any new skills, we need to be emotionally ready to learn them.

Also showing how emotions are an excellent catalyst for change, are Aristotle’s modes of persuasion. The Greek philosopher used these modes of belief as a means of teaching his students, as well as when he was holding speeches. In short, these comprise three elements: Logos, Pathos, and Ethos. 

Logos is a means of appealing to the listener’s logic. It is used to present the facts that support the speaker’s claims and point of view. Nevertheless, logos alone cannot get very far without the other two elements. The reason for this is that numbers and facts can become confusing and don’t capture our attention. It is the reason why PowerPoint presentations are usually so dull.

Pathos, on the other hand, is where the speaker appeals to the listener’s emotions. There are many ways to achieve pathos such as using metaphors, smiles, or a passionate delivery, among others. When used effectively these should make the listener emotionally invested in the speaker’s claim.

Lastly, we have Ethos, which stands for the presenter’s character and credibility.

Before we can develop any new skills, we need to be emotionally ready to learn them.

Anyway, it is through pathos (the emotional side) that people can genuinely comprehend an idea. It is also through emotion that they will act on it. So, how can you use emotions as a catalyst for change?

Recommended: The Awesome Power of Empathy in the Workplace


Fear is, by far the most potent emotion found in the animal kingdom (including humans). It is somewhat safe to say that society today has been shaped by fear in its many shapes and sizes. The fear of death, the fear of loneliness, the fear of losing one’s material possessions can all be a catalyst for change.

Another example is FOMO or the fear of missing out. When it comes to new and exciting innovations, a bit of FOMO can drive people to overcome other fears and embrace change. Similar to how people, after a certain age, begin taking better care of themselves to see their children have grandchildren, so can the fear of your business becoming obsolete can drive you to embrace new technologies and innovation.

Now, with that said, fear can be a double-edged sword and only used under certain circumstances, like FOMO. There’s no use in trying to scare your subordinates into adopting new changes. If anything, this strategy might end up backfiring.

Recommended: Are You Ready for the New Era of Work?

It should also go without saying that fear isn’t the only emotion that can act as a catalyst for change. Nevertheless, as one of the most powerful and one that’s mostly negative, fear is a perfect example of how the emotional side influences our decisions.

Change promises opportunity

Every change brings with it a promise of opportunity. It is up to each one of us to be willing or capable of seizing that opportunity otherwise risk becoming obsolete. The fear of missing out is a powerful tool to use in this regard. If you want to learn more about the power of emotions and how they can act as a catalyst for change, let’s connect on or

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Inscape Consulting Group
Greg Nichvalodoff, BSc. BM (Honors), MBA, PCC, CMC
Office: 604.943.0800
Mobile: 604.831.4734