Here are the last four of components of the opening statement, as identified by Susan Scott in Fierce Conversations:
d. Clarify what’s at stake—for the person you’re talking to, for you, and for the company. Example: “There’s some important things at stake here. Our working relationship and the success of our division.”
e. Identify your contribution to this problem. What have you done to help produce the very results that are making you unhappy? In short, how are you to blame for the situation. Example: “Joe, I know I’ve contributed to this problem, by not speaking up on the first time you told me to shut up. I just thought that behavior would stop over time, but it hasn’t, and I’m very concerned.
f. Indicate your wish to resolve the issue. Scott cautions to be sure to use the word “resolve.” It’s not a final or a win-lose sort of word, rather a word that shows hope and an interest in clearing things up. Example: “Joe, I want to resolve how we can work together in a way that works for you and also gives me the kind of respect I think I deserve.”
g. Invite your partner to respond. Now that you’ve succinctly set up the problem (in less than a minute), you need to invite the other person to join the conversation. Now, it’s time to listen. Example: “I want to understand what’s happening from your perspective. What do you think about what I’ve said?”