Ocupop has maintained an authority position as a design resource for everyone from the W3C to Google to countless startups; we've navigated hundreds of design reviews while avoiding the bullshit and bastardization most designs fall victim to. We've done it via our commitment to giving clients what they need, not what they want - and our ability to communicate as much is what sets us apart.
Sometimes it is hard to believe, but you are an expert. Clients, collaborators and CEOs are looking for solutions not options - and they're coming to you to find them. That means providing answers, not questions. Don't ask "which one do you like?" Instead, say, "this is the solution that works."
In today's culture of amateurism, you have the pair credentials, credibility, and confidence with an entirely new level of evangelical ability few appreciate and even fewer are capitalizing on. Say "Fuck No" and it will set you free.
Every decision is made for a reason - and it is vital that the design dialogue shift from how design looks to WHY design works. Thoroughly and passionately justifying each and every directive is the not only the pathway to effective design process, but it is the level of discourse needed to succeed in business today.
Conversations about marketing, branding, and design too often center around the "how" - especially when it comes to feedback. "What?" and "Why?" are far more important questions to be asking. Instead of demanding to make the logo bigger, communicate what the collateral/interface/packaging needs to say, who it needs to say it to, and why, and then let the experts figure out how to best manifest that directive.