- The other person will not change. Perhaps they are just as grounded in their principles as you are, and not willing to listen or consider another point of view. Compromise may not be an option in any case.
- The results won't change the outcome substantially. Think hard about whether it is more important to get your way or to just let it go.
- All the facts aren't available. Decisions need to be based on the best possible information. Guessing to fill in the blanks will not benefit anyone.
- Other issues are more important. Keep your priorities straight and concentrate on the most pressing issues. Not all issues carry the same weight.
- You're just trying to prove yourself, not improve the situation. What you will prove is that your ego is more important than the problem you are trying to solve.
- You really have no chance of winning. You may be a voice in the wilderness, and 100 percent correct in your assessment, but save your breath until you can realistically bring others around.
- Anticipate the sticking points. I never walk into a presentation or meeting without considering what issues and objections might arise. I develop a game plan to deal with concerns and to convince them that the solution I am proposing will address their objection.
- Stay on topic. Stick to the issues, and redirect the conversation back to the original issue if conversation wanders.
- Don't take objections personally. Pay close attention to the reasons others are challenging your ideas, and try to see the issues from their perspective. If my solution creates a new problem for them, I am willing to reconsider. The point is to solve problems.
- Ask for help. I look to advisers and employees for great ideas. This accomplishes two things: It helps me see the problems from several points of view, and it demonstrates that I am willing to be a team player. I want the best ideas out there, and I don't always care where they come from.
Differences of opinion don't have to be dead ends. Learn how to pick your battles, and put your energy into finding the best possible solutions.
Mackay's Moral: You have a right to fight for what's right.