When in a discussion where you are taking a position, you'd better understand that position relative to the other person.

Understand whether you are

  • Debating
  • Persuading
  • Negotiating

Sometimes these feels similar, but they aren't. Don't debate with someone who just needs persuading. Definitely don't try to negotiate with someone who's in debate-mode. And persuading someone who's trying to negotiate will create a whole disconnect as well.

Be clear on the terms of engagement.