Great Thread AF! Awesome idea. My experience is vastly limited in comparison with others here but one thing I'd like to share that worked well for me. It also saved me a lot of time and added work. Backstory: I used to write reports that would be reviewed by the governing agency (usually city/county/other jurisdictions) and ultimately approved. These reports were part of the environmental process for new development and one of several areas that my clients had to get completed and approved before project approval. One area that worked well for me that others didn't follow was establishing a good relationship with those that would be reviewing and approving the document. At the beginning, I'd make sure to call/meet them briefly and always keep them up to date as to what was going on. I made sure to get their approval right away on certain key details on what I will be analyzing and how I will be doing so, and in writing (e-mail). Once this information (data) had been approved, it was a safety valve of sorts for me as any future comment upon completion of the report concerning the changing/addition of this data (constant data), would just require my producing these documents showing it had already been signed off on. A very small change to this data would require me completely redoing the whole analysis. Since I always kept those reviewing my reports in the loop and getting them to sign off on it, I never had any comments regarding this data...even though others who didn't do this did and would complain about having to redo the whole report. This small investment of time sure covered my ass and saved a lot for time later on. Also, for just about every report, I'd get comments back from the reviewing agency concerning certain issues they had with the report. This was inevitable because even if they had no concerns, they had to comment on something for job justification purposes. In these events, comments would just be the rearranging of sentences or wording something differently. 10 second changes. Typically, I'd get an e-mail with an attachment letter of the comments the reviewing agency had. Usually there'd be about 10 comments. I'd look through them and most were just minor comments or changes they wanted to be made that were cosmetic and didn't have any effect on the actual data and analysis. The other ones I would be concerned with because I didn't agree with them. If I did agree, I'd just make the changes but it wouldn't be but an hour or so of work. Others would just get the comments, bitch about them, make the changes, resubmit, get more comments back, and repeat the process. I never understood why they spent so much time revising reports (which was not billable by the way), when I wouldn't. I had already established a relationship and would a) look at all comments b) pick out the ones I agreed with and would change in the report, and c) pick out the ones I didn't agree with and would cost me a lot of additional time if I had to make those changes. Then I'd call the person who reviewed the analysis. Right off the bat I would quickly bullshit about how busy they were and how business was doing. This also gave me info as to new development in the area. Then I'd tell them that I wanted to go over the comments for a couple minutes. I'd start by telling them that they had made some great comments and that we will get them squared away and get the report back in their hands quickly. I'd go over these comments I agreed with while giving praise. Basically, I was giving them a sense of self worth and making them feel good. Then I'd get into the comments I didn't agree with. I wouldn't say so, but one by one I'd go over those comments giving reasoning as to why I did what I did, and that while the comment was a valid one, the report was done in the correct fashion. Of course I'd explain so more eloquently than just telling them that what I did was right and better than what they wanted done. Usually, as the conversation progressed they'd start agreeing with my original analysis and just tell me to disregard that comment. By the time I hung up the phone, I'd only have 5 of the 10 comments left. Those 5 were the small inconsequential ones that I didn't care about. The 5 that I didn't like and would cause me a lot more work were removed by the reviewing agency. In summation, I found that initiating conversation on a friendly level with praise towards the others work would loosen them up to the point that later on when it came down to the matters important to me, they were way more susceptible to change their original positions to suit mine. Even if they still stuck by their position, more often than not, by using this strategy of communication, they would be willing to give me the benefit of the doubt and disregard their stance. Tl;dr version - Start a converation with respect and praise, and the chances that you get what you want increase dramatically. Should be common sense, but I rarely saw anyone else do it.