"Walk in light, friendly, and open. Say, "Thanks for taking the time to meet"—that puts everyone at ease. I recently had to talk to a teacher on behalf of some disgruntled parents. The teacher came into the meeting knowing that everyone hated her, but she smiled, shook my hand, and said she hoped we could work something out. I was so impressed, and this made me listen. Because of how she approached it, I wanted to help her get what she needed rather than nail her to the cross. She changed the playing field in the first 30 seconds."