THE DOWN SIDE OF MAKING AN MAKING AN ARGUMENT BASED ON UNSUBSTANTIATED FACTS:

After three decades of trying (and frequently succeeding) to persuade people to see things from my point of view, I have learned, the hard way, that I have to have my facts straight before presenting them as part of my argument.

Early in my career I made lots of boneheaded mistakes in how I presented things hoping to get the results I wanted and instead discovering them backfiring on me.

KABOOM.

Eventually I discovered as soon as I make a declarative statement such as “My client always gets this” or “All composers receive this” I am setting myself up for being discredited if the other side can research it and come back to me with examples disproving my case.

This problem is compounded if I try to link my “facts” with a strong conclusion.

Saying “All composers receive this, and the fact you are not offering it shows you are disrespecting my client,” would be a rookie mistake in persuading others since it is a false conclusion based on inaccurate information.

Experience has taught me it is best to pursue things differently from the offset:

1. Do my research before speaking

2. If I don’t have my facts, ask. Better to ask a question than to make up an answer.

3. Don’t make conclusions (especially inflammatory ones) if I don’t have my facts straight to support them.

Hope others can benefit from some painful lessons I discovered.

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