Rock Products

AUG 2019

Rock Products is the aggregates industry's leading source for market analysis and technology solutions, delivering critical content focusing on aggregates-processing equipment; operational efficiencies; management best practices; comprehensive market

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126 • ROCK products • August 2019 83. Journalists, while they hold objectivity as a goal, can hardly claim to be objective. As human beings dealing with human activities and human motives, they have to interpret in order to report. 84. Rhetorical methodology compensates for subjectivity because it invites speakers on all sides of an issue to advance their subjective viewpoints. An audience dedi- cated to discovering the truth can listen to all arguments and identify the best ideas. 85. While the uninformed fear tricky public relations prac- titioners and politicians, those who appreciate the rhetorical nature of human communication see dif- ferences of opinion as opportunities to articulate and investigate new ideas. 86. Through rhetorical invention one discovers the most con- vincing arguments. The arguments are then arranged in an order that will be most persuasive. Using style choices, one phrases the arguments in ways that will make them believable, important, salient and memorable. 87. Arguments are invented in three categories called the three modes of proof: ethos, pathos and logos. Ethos gen- erally means reputation and is most significant. Pathos is an argument that appeals to emotions already present in audiences, like sadness or joy. Logos, the appeal to reason, is expected from doctors, lawyers and univer- sity professors. 88. They have meaningful evidence to support their claims, so they do not need to resort to stirring the emotions of their audience to get attention or direct action. 88. A discourse can be deliberative, forensic or epideictic. Deliberative discourse is usually political; it is focused on the future. Forensic discourse is typically legalistic; it focuses on the past. Epideictic discourse is ceremonial and therefore is focused on the present. 89. You can't get paid enough to lie. Your reputation is your greatest asset. There is no problem bad enough and no bribe great enough to make a lie profitable. If you cannot be trusted, your arguments become worthless. 90. What you think you know is more dangerous than what you do not know. This common problem is the Pando- ra's Box of communication. All kinds of bad things can happen when you wrongly assume you understand others and that they understand you. Asking questions and monitoring feedback are essential counterpoints to communicating. 91. If you don't want it repeated, don't say it. Once you tell a secret, what happens next is out of your control. It doesn't matter if it is your best friend or a reporter. People forget the promise, can be called before a judge, or can decide to do what you did and trust just one person with the information. 92. All forms of communication are not equal. Some things are best said face-to-face, some in small groups and some through mass media. 93. Communication is context dependent and the most important contextual elements have to do with the number of people present and the media used to reach them. 94. It is reasonable to speak of the impact of social media or the influence of conservative talk radio, but using terms as broad as "the media" or even "the press" is counter- productive. These terms make the complex relationships between types of media, political and professional allegiances and reporting processes more difficult to understand. Feedback and Adjustment 95. Professional communicators have different styles and methods, but they all have one thing in common: they see communication as a process. They know that what they say will be decoded by listeners who may or may not come up with the intended meaning. So they watch and listen for feedback, which they use to modify the next message. 96. Communication is an exchange in which feedback is as important as the message itself. 97. Feedback is hard to come by. Employees often think no one cares, or worse, they are afraid that if they say the wrong thing they will be penalized. 98. Managers have to earn feedback. Every corporate tyrant claims that "my door is always open." An effective man- ager puts the burden on himself or herself and goes to the employee. 99. Feedback is really a euphemism. When management and communication consultants say you need to get feedback, they do not mean any feedback. They mean negative feedback. 100. Getting feedback is mostly about finding out what you are doing wrong, a little about finding out what you could do better and less about finding out what you are doing right. Thomas J. Roach is Rock Products' Community Relations columnist. Community Relations Aggregates Industry Almanac

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