learned this from the president's press secretary:
Critics should prove they can do better
Tony criticized the president's communication policy and was willing to step in to to fix someone else's mess when asked. (Don't criticize unless you can do better?)
If you're nice, your enemies will be nice, too.
Tony took the "high road" when he could have been "chippy", so people took it easy on him when they could have attacked.
Don't feel threatened when your work is criticized
No need for a harsh counter-attack to defend yourself. Your life isn't in danger.
Be honest about what you don't know
People will trust you. Just don't be so ignorant that you're of no value.
See also: Recruiting Lessons From Tim Russert
Recruiting Animal Blog
Recruiting Animal Show