Genuine Curiosity

Author Dwayne Melancon is always on the lookout for new things to learn. An ecclectic collection of postings on personal productivity, travel, good books, gadgets, leadership & management, and many other things.


2006 Talking Story Countdown!

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote some pointers for how to prepare for negotiations. In response to that, Rosa asked a question about what to do after the deal is done.

Here are my thoughts and pointers:

  • Get it down in writing

    • Very soon after the agreement is struck (same day if possible), record what was agreed in writing. I use email because it's efficient and works for my style.
    • This written plan should include the main points of the agreement, committed action items with owners, and any time frames as agreed.

  • Raise the flag on any "gotchas"

    • When writing up the results of the negotiation, you may uncover "holes" that you forgot to address. Bring them up right away.
    • After the work you've done during the negotiation, you probably have a good idea what's going to work for both parties, so feel free to offer some suggestions for how to fill the holes.

  • Follow up and follow through

    • You or a designee on your side should "own" management to the agreement. This includes nagging people who aren't hitting commitments, double-checking the results to ensure that they meet what was agreed, etc.
    • Set a good example yourself by following through and keeping your own commitments. If you don't do this, what leverage do you have if the other person misses a commitment?

  • Don't be too dogmatic

    • Often, we commit based on good faith and what we know at the time of the negotiation. When we actually get down to delivering, we find that what we thought was appropriate doesn't make sense in the real world. Whenever possible, try to manage to the spirit of the agreement - not the letter of the law. This doesn't mean you can change the agreement at will, but you should be open to discussing alternatives that become apparent or necessary during implementation.

  • Don't rule out going back to the bargaining table.

    • Sometimes, one party or the other finds they can't deliver what they thought they could deliver. If you feel that coming, raise the issue early and try to create a collaborative environment to come up with a workable solution.
    • However, don't give up to soon - just because renegotiation may be an option, that doesn't mean it should be used as an "easy out."

These are the things that came to mind for me. What about you? Got any tips to share with us?

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