Lengthy consultations often do not lead to a settlement between parties. With the help of a lawyer, the negotiation process is more efficient and less time consuming. Legal representation typically pressures the other party into a fair and swift agreement. A lawyer’s extensive negotiation experience will greatly increase the chances of successful negotiation.
In order to achieve a desirable outcome, it may be useful to follow a structured approach to negotiation.
The process of negotiation includes the following stages:
Undertaking preparation before discussing the disagreement will help to avoid further conflict and unnecessarily wasting time during the meeting. Setting a limited time-scale can also be helpful to prevent the disagreement continuing. A lawyer often knows to seize the moment to build support for the better approach.
Key skills during this stage include questioning, listening and clarifying. It is extremely important to listen, as when disagreement takes place it is easy to make the mistake of saying too much and listening too little.
● Clarification of goals
Through this clarification it is often possible to identify or establish some common ground. A lawyer is always an excellent listener and helps to seek common ground while putting aside differences.
● Negotiate towards a Win-Win outcome
Suggestions of alternative strategies and compromises need to be considered at this point. Compromises are often positive alternatives which can often achieve greater benefit for all concerned compared to holding to the original positions. A lawyer give his/ her clients advices on compromises.
Any agreement needs to be made perfectly clear so that both sides know what has been decided, which should be drafted by a lawyer.
● Implementation of a course of action
Implementation is as important as the agreement itself.
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