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Laura's Advice for Dealing with a Difficult Contract Negotiation

laura's advice Feb 12, 2022

Some negotiations are just tough. The contract is imperfect because we don’t have time to fix everything. The counterparty won’t see reason, so we have to approve provisions that we don't like. We have to concede on points that we know are wrong or make no sense to get the deal done.

These tough negotiations remind us that our job is often the epitome of “it is good enough.”

That is hard for lawyers and professionals to accept. And sometimes, it feels like it is too much to bear. Our frustration and powerlessness create stress, anxiety, and heartache.

When I'm struggling with a difficult negotiation's emotional and mental toll, I turn to detachment to preserve my calm and maintain my focus.

Detachment to me is about acknowledgment and acceptance. I acknowledge how I feel and how hard the situation is. I acknowledge that I'm not in control and can't make the counterparty act a different way. Then I accept the situation as it is. And I accept that I am doing my best, and that is all I can do.

I've found this process makes a world of difference when I find myself in a difficult negotiation.