Negotiating Understandings and Agreements
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 this has to do with negotiating. What difference does it make? After all, isn't a deal a deal?
When you're negotiating it's not enough to simply reach 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 what is, or is not working.
A good Agreement should not only spell out the work and money involved, but should also discuss the understanding behind the Agreement and a Procedure for measuring cost in the event that additions or deletions of work occur. A poor Agreement simply leaves the parties bickering about whether verbal understandings are being met and whether costs are 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 documented in detail right now, while they are fresh in our minds?"
Success in negotiation starts with understanding what kind of negotiation you are dealing with. Fundamentally, every negotiation is fundamentally about finding and distributing value...Read More
Happy Holidays to you and yours! Chances are very good that you had to negotiate with at least a few people to figure out what your holiday plans would be this holiday season, and chances are good that it didn’t all go perfectly smoothly. If you are all still on speaking terms, that’s probably because you utilized some of your best conflict resolution tools...Read More