Business Negotiation October 17, 2012


A procedure is a way of doing something.   An understanding is an expression of mutual viewpoint and attitude on an issue...

A procedure is a way of doing something.  An understanding is an expression of mutual viewpoint and attitude on an issue.  An agreement is a conclusive commitment to mutually acceptable terms.

You’re probably wondering what difference all this makes.  After all, isn’t a deal a deal?

When you’re negotiating, my contention is that it is not enough merely to reach an agreement.  Even when two parties have the best intentions, agreements break down for a variety of reasons.  Breakdowns occur because those responsible for implementing the agreement often do not understand the common viewpoints, attitudes, and backgrounds that brought about the agreement.  Sometimes the breakdown occurs because neither party knows how to make the agreement work or how to prove that it is or is not working.

A good agreement should not only spell out the work and dollars involved, but also the understand behind the written words and a procedure for measuring cost in the event that additions or deletions of work occur.  A poor contract would leave us bickering about whether the quality level achieved met our verbal understanding and whether costs were being accumulated fairly.

The next time you are in a negotiation, better say to yourself, “It is not enough just to reach agreement on terms.  Are there any understandings and procedures that ought to be laid out in detail right now, while they are fresh in our minds?”
Upcoming seminars
Effective Negotiating
Effective Negotiating
Effective Negotiating II
Effective Negotiating
Search for seminars near you
October 02, 2019

Negotiating is a very tricky task, especially when you have something crucial at stake. You can find yourself struggling when the negotiation starts to favor the other side...

Read More Group 7
IntraOrganization Negotiation
August 28, 2019

Negotiations rarely fail because one party cannot offer what the other party wants. Most of the time, it’s all a matter of perception, attitude, strategy, and a willingness to work things out...

Read More Group 7
Negotiating Tips , Negotiation Strategies
June 24, 2019

Negotiation is a team effort. Working with a team allows you to draw upon other perspectives and experiences, which can help you close a deal...

Read More Group 7