What happens to human relationships during the commercial negotiation phase of a transaction.
Are they made stronger?
Are they a focus?
We’ve all got stories where that phase ends on a high. Unfortunately, we’ve also got stories where it feels like relationships have been unduly strained. That may be because one party feels like they’re being steamrolled, or just because of a war of attrition on a long list of contentious points.
One or more parties can end up feeling like they are actually nearing the end of the relationship … or maybe the start of an abusive one. That’s not all the time, but when it happens it’s not great.
With all the focus and intense work on the “deal”, commercial, legal and procurement teams can be distracted from the work of forging a trust-based relationship… the very thing that may save that deal’s bacon.
World Commerce & Contracting's insights on relational contracting are a timely reminder that human beings are a bit rubbish at predicting the future. This means that our contracts end up being brittle. They break when flexed by the inevitable disasters, failures and unexpected events that come their way.
It’s during these times that the relationship comes into its own. It is the relationship that will often make or break whether the parties can successfully navigate the rapids.
What if more was invested in the relationship in these early stages?
How much time and $$$ would be saved if we invested in connecting the negotiation teams at a personal level, and to wider stakeholders, before jumping into negotiating the definitions section?
Even a pre-negotiation dinner might ultimately shave days off the process?!?
Here’s an idea: Connect the teams before negotiating the terms.