Come fully prepared with what you want to say as you might forget something if you adlib

List and prioritise all the major salient points you want to make

Be focussed with clear objectives and endeavour to be a strong communicator

Share your ideas with colleagues prior to the meeting to check on their validity

Remember that the best achievers are good salesmen


Ask inviting rather than closed questions to reveal the thinking of the questioned

Ask curious questions which are non-judgemental as good questions stimulate reflective conversation

Make the responder feel that their contribution may lead to the solution to the problem or even that they thought of the solution first

Use non-challenging questions such as:

Have I understood you properly?

Can you give me an example of how this might work?

Have you considered all the consequences of choosing this approach?

How can I help you to meet your objectives?


Come with an open mind

Prove that you are not just a whinger by opening with a compliment to the person or their organisation

Reveal your assumptions for examination and confirmation

Use personal experience to illustrate your point as you may be an Expert by Experience but don’t make your question into a crusade

Explain your credentials but keep objective so no war stories

Demonstrate an open and friendly approach as shown by your body language

Monitor the effectiveness of your argument by checking the body language of your audience

Show self-confidence but be humble enough to accept that you might be wrong

Reveal where you are at least clear in your thinking

Try to understand the thinking of others

To compromise does not mean to accept defeat.  You may not get all you want at your first attempt

Demonstrate empathy by being a passionate listener to the responses you get

Become as good at listening as you are at talking

Show relaxed interest in the other party

Try to work with others and assume that many people may have part of the answer

Look for common ground with WIN-WIN outcomes

Indicate your willingness to participate in the proposed work plan


Paul Osman

10th March 2019