Contract disputes can strain even the strongest business relationships. Given the importance of developing and maintaining trust with other professionals, learning to write a good contract can help you prevent conflict.
Negotiation is one component of contract writing. This process allows you to determine an agreement with other participants, as well as define each other’s expectations for the relationship.
Ask the right questions
Effective negotiation requires you to have a discussion with everyone involved in the relationship. During this time, you may ask questions to help you have a better understanding of others’ intentions and desires. According to Harvard Law School, knowing how to ask the right questions can make a considerable difference in the integrity of your contract. Some common questions to consider asking includes the following:
- What is fair and reasonable?
- Is there adequate documentation?
- Are there any notable concerns?
- What factors may prevent success?
Consider the future
One of the best ways to prevent conflict from disrupting a contractual relationship is to consider the future during negotiations. Think about probable issues that may arise and discuss solutions to implement. Provide direction for participants so they understand how to manage certain situations that could create tension or confusion.
Even though effective negotiation cannot indefinitely prevent conflict during the course of the contractual relationship, it can minimize the risks of disagreements. Verifying everyone’s understanding may help you to identify if any adjustments could make your contract stronger and more concise. Once everyone agrees on the verbiage, you can request final signatures to make your contract legal and enforceable.