Questions are far more effective than defensive statements. They do not imply agreement, but they do convey interest and a desire to understand and facilitate an environment for peak performance, a central thread of effective leadership.... The next time someone accuses you of virtually anything, ask some questions. Resolving the situation may take more time, but the outcome will likely be more productive for both of you.
STEPHEN YOUNG, Micro Messaging
Any seasoned deal maker will tell you that spontaneous negotiation's a bad strategy; the ad hoc approach will leave you ripped-off, busted, conned, stiffed, outsmarted and generally holding the shitty end of the stick.