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But there are criteria more important than efficiency.
I realize it’s awfully inefficient to meet with people a dozen at a time.
If the meeting is larger and the venue is more formal, it may be appropriate to set up a literature table and have a few audio-visual aids. One vivid way to confirm your opponents’ power – to make them big and you small – is to let them see that being on their turf is making you nervous.
“Our lawyer joined the group and paid her dues so she’s entitled to be there,” a client once told me.But I’m grateful that you invited me.” At a minimum, don’t imply that you’re delighted and fully comfortable.The first lie at many hostile meetings is the first thing the company spokesperson says: “I’m glad to see so many people here tonight” or “I’m very happy to be here.” Big or small, living room or auditorium, hostile meetings go better when there are children in the room. With rare exceptions, when your opponents want to talk you have far more to gain than to lose by accepting. Don’t focus on benefits when talking to people who are upset about possible risks. Don’t imply falsely that your opponents are powerless. Work slowly toward clarity about your opponents’ three options: accept, improve, or fight.