How thin is your ice?
If you watch a well-directed film with the sound turned off, you'll get a lot out of it. On the other hand, it takes practice to read a screenplay and truly understand it.
It's worth remembering that we lived in tribes for millennia, long before we learned how to speak. Emotional connection is our default. We only added words and symbolic logic much later.
There are a few places where all that matters is the words. Where the force of logic is sufficient to change the moment.
The rest of the time, which is almost all the time, the real issues are trust, status, culture, pheromones, peer pressure, urgency and the energy in the room.
It probably pays to know which kind of discussion you're having.
The thing is, thin ice doesn't give you a lot of leverage, and thin ice can be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The first step for the agent, the middle manager, the hanger-on is to invest in the long term, to find an arc that actually builds an asset that lasts.
And the second is to act 'as if'. All that panic doesn't pay off. It merely makes it more likely that the people you need to earn trust with will do precisely the opposite.
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