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October 2013: Are You Smarter Than a Congressperson? 
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Paige Stanley

About the Law Office of Paige Arden Stanley

The primary focuses of my law practice are in the areas of business law and estate planning.  I not only serve as outside general counsel for small business owners, but I also prepare wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and health care directives. My background in litigation allows me to successfully negotiate and protect my clients' interests. For more information, please visit my firm's website or contact me at ( 404) 386-9950 or paige@stanleylawoffice.com.

A Note From Paige

Fall is in the air and that means pulling out your favorite sweater, sleeping with the windows open and most importantly, college football. Maybe that's just me, but I bet many of you are just as excited to have standing Saturday plans as I am.

The give and take of football started me to thinking about the art of negotiation as well. Then the government shutdown happened, and its importance was reinforced that much more. Knowing when, how and what to negotiate can make all the difference in business contracts, so here are a few tips to get you started on the right foot. 

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Are You Smarter Than A Congressperson?
(If You Understand Negotiation, the Answer is Yes.)

Whatever their political persuasion, Americans find the government shutdown alarming, a perfect example of failed negotiating. I’m not going to delve into the specifics of Congress’ breakdown in talks and that whole disaster, but it does serve as a reminder that negotiating skills affect us all at one point or another.

Negotiating a contract is one of those times when your negotiating skills can bring significant rewards. Try these tips to achieve the best results in such a situation.
  • Know what you want. You’re much more likely to get the results you desire if you begin with a clear idea of what they look like. Think about the details that will be included, and know what constitutes a satisfactory outcome for each point.
  • Study up. Much of what goes into legally binding agreements is subject to government regulation. You’ll need to be sure you understand what is required and acceptable to include in the contract, based on the laws in your area as well as federal regulations.
  • Get ready. Gather the numbers you’ll need to negotiate effectively as well as any documentation you may want to prove your claims. Prepare a list of the things you want the contract to address. Define some limits to how long you’ll keep trying before calling the negotiations off entirely or trying another method.
  • Communicate effectively. You’ll get better results if you make a full disclosure of the relevant facts and figures, offer proof when possible, share your desires clearly and listen to what the other party is saying.
  • Stay positive. Your attitude going into negotiations and throughout the process will go a long way toward keeping things moving forward smoothly and encouraging flexibility in the other participants.
Despite your best efforts, sometimes negotiations break down. Other times it may be beneficial to enlist the help of a professional simply to protect yourself legally or to ensure that contracts are drawn up in an enforceable manner. In those cases, feel free to email or call me to help you get what you need from the negotiating progress. I’m here to help.
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Items in this Newsletter may be excerpts or summaries of original or secondary source material, and may have been reorganized for clarity and brevity. This Newsletter is general in nature and is not intended to provide specific legal or other advice.
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