As a mentor and a coach I often call out defensive behaviour and how it reflects poorly on the individual.
Far better when you feel you are being personally attacked especially in a group environment, take a breath, and another breath and then calmly ask the person why they feel the way they do? Why they came to the position they are taking? What they want you to do? In Dale Carnegies words ‘Seek to understand before you are understood”.
Defensive behaviour, hostile challenge and reactive leadership and the same thing: reacting badly to a situation.
I found the creative vs reactive leadership helpful, when dealing with areas I feel attached to.
What is triggering your defensive behaviour?