Monday, December 5, 2011

Have you earned your ethos today?

Have you earned your ethos today?

Ethos is having good character, morality, and ethics.

In order to influence others, persuade, and sell, you must have ethos.  However, ethos does not exist in your mind.  Just thinking and saying you have it doesn't make it so.  It is in the minds of others and the only way you can earn it is by doing good deeds.
Saying the following won't establish your ethos, and in most cases, is insulting to others:
  • Trust me                                   
  • You can count on me
  • You can believe me
  • I wouldn't lie to you
  • I've been doing this for 16 years
  • I'm not lying
  • Honestly
  • You can take what I say to the bank
  • I'm going to be truthful
  • To be honest with you
  • To tell you the truth
  • I'm a good person    
You must build ethos over time by looking out for the best interest of others.  Your ethos exists only in their minds.

What did you do today to earn your ethos?  

Rod Mattson December 2011
Mattson Communication Training


  1. Professor Mattson,

    Doing good deeds and helping others in need is family culture I grow up into. However, I understand that people inherit from good actions and sometimes the bad ones in family house hold, so my questions is it possible that we have ethos generically throw inheritance without knowing it? I personally believe good deeds is an opportunity to do it good in society and we should always look out those moments in need when least expected. Trust me on this!

  2. Hi there Abwaan,

    I believe that we might be talking about two different things here. 1. Doing good deeds and watching for those good deeds to come back to us and 2. doing good deeds that result in others believing we are a people of good character.

    Our behavior and words build our ethos which lies in the minds of others. We can't just tell other people we have ethos. Others have to see us as a person with ethos. Others bestow the notion of good character and morality on us which we earn through actions.

    Doing good deeds such as the "Golden Rule" and working with the anticipation of Karma is not related to ethos. In those cases we are working within the notion of "what goes around, comes around;" whereas ethos is simply doing the right and moral things without concern for something in return.

    Does that make sense?