Anticipate reactions and plan countermoves 

Anticipate reactions. Take time in advance to consider how your audience will react to your messaging.  Refine your content to reduce the chance they could hear an attack on their identity or ego.

Prepare.. Gather data if needed. If it’s a hot-button issue, then prepare by considering what matters to the other party -- what might be important to them, and where is alignment possible?  Acknowledging what is important to them will help move the discussion forward.

Examples:

  • What are my main points?

  • What matters to me?  What matters to the other party?

  • What are three ways my listeners are likely to respond?

  • How will I respond to each of those scenarios?