Master the art of framing. Test drive your lead in.
What they already know and care about.
Their perspective. Their goal, vision, challenge, opportunity or concern.
Your insight and expertise as it applies to what interests and concerns them.
Their objective plus your ability equals opportunity. What you and they can make or do together.
Where has the discussion bogged down? Call out points of contention, confusion or new discoveries.
Restate or acknowledge their point of view or concern to honor their perspective and show you heard.
Take authority and bridge to the priority.
Transition to/introduce your point of view and highlight why.
Make a statement you can all agree with, aspire to and link it to an ultimate goal.
What did they teach you in the meeting? Summarize your discoveries from the conversation. What did you learn? "It's now clear to me that ..."
What action items do you take from this meeting? What do they take? What happens next?
Connect this conversation to a bigger value, vision or strategy that unites us. How does the decision we've just made relate to something we all care about?