You have no need to be defensive if someone disagrees with your opinions about something. It will then become a contest to see whose opinion is to take precedence. That does not change it from being all it is – merely an opinion.
You can always be open to other opinions – other interpretations of things. You can always revert to your own opinion. That is your prerogative. That is also the prerogative of others.
If you are defensive in public, others may doubt your commitment. If you are not defensive in public, they can never know. The advantage is yours. You can then go in any direction, or create a new one.
If you attack others’ opinions for any reasons, they may fire back or clam up. Either way, you have lost advantage. Others may want to defend their opinions. Encourage them to do so. That will weaken their argument. That will reveal the flaws in their thinking.
Keep in mind: All that’s at stake is someone’s opinion – yours or someone else’s.
The best you can do: Don’t waste time by defending your opinions. Don’t waste people by attacking their opinions. Find out what is useful for your purposes, and move on.
-Lee Thayer, Thought-Leader