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.
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.