Rules of Negotiation in Construction Contract Management

Negotiation role in contract management cannot be downplayed. It is the surest way through which companies and other multinational bodies secure tenders to undertake any project or even land a business deal. Negotiation itself takes place in between two or more parties and lead to a common resolution, an agreement for a common goal or course of action. It leads to overall content of the two parties and intends to achieve compromise.

For the success of the negotiation to be achieved, both parties must contribute. It should not be a monologue, but rather a dialogue. When the term negotiation is mentioned various aspect comes into play such as the venue, when or the time for negotiation, aggression in the push of the agenda, the role played among many other issues.

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Negotiation process normally revolves around the issue at hand, preferably the pre-contract issue. In a more systematic manner the real process of agreement eventually follows. Unfortunately one of the parties may fail to confer to the agreed terms and conditions or even the indulgence of another third party that breaches the contract.

This then trickles to a post- contract claim by the other party, which in the end may either lead to contract termination or restating of the contract afresh. In a more coherent manner the essay tries to give a simple summary of various rules of negotiation.

For any negotiation to be a success in contract management, preparations must take place. To avoid any inconveniences that may result from date fixation, each stakeholder should be informed prior to match with their diaries. The days leading to the agreed date should be occupied with events culminating to the main negotiation event.

These events may include, holiday trips, vocational meetings. At other times, the day of negotiation may be placed in a tight schedule. The last minute rush leads to little or no time to gather the necessary information or indulge in constructive consultation.

Ample time is essential for negotiation to be successful. The negotiator should arrange for the pre-meeting. The parties involved should see the importance of attending the pre-meeting. The meeting should not in any manner be treated with triviality, but rather crucial and essential. It is at this meeting that the plan for negotiation is drawn up and any discontent of the participants met. It should not be treated as a presumption that the participants have all the information necessary for negotiation to commence.

The pre-meeting serves to establish a negotiation plan and assimilate the necessary information. Contributions by each party are made at this area. Preparatory meeting also equip the negotiator with the necessary information that is needed sorting out what is of importance and discarding the irrelevant information.

Relevant information helps in proper time management since it enables the negotiator to stick to the plan. It is also at this pre-meeting where the negotiator interacts with the participants through asking of questions. Any material of relevance is also submitted at this stage.

The parties should not withdraw any information they regard to be of essence. The preparatory meeting is also involved in weakness identification of one party. The meeting drafts the counter measures to be used if the other party capitalizes on the weaknesses. The meeting also serves in identifying the kind of people one is dealing with.

The information obtained from the preparatory meeting helps in planning. It gives the clear-cut objectives, for the negotiator and the other two parties and also how the objectives can be attained for compromise. This creates the avenue for an agreement to be reached. The objective of each group is identified together with their real needs. The background information for each group is also identified and the key information is fed to the lead negotiator.

The real needs of the opponent are also taken into consideration as some of the issues raised may not augur well with the opposition. The issues raised should not be treated with negligence. The other side may easily not be coerced and it is very vital for the other party to know what these issues are. Once the issues are known depending on the progress of negotiation talks, it helps one to bring a breakdown in the negotiation talks.

The most difficult parts for the opposition to yield should be taken into consideration. After the objective search, a well-established plan is laid out. Not everything that is planned succeeds, thus no matter how the plan is, there are inevitable events.

However, the existence of a plan gives a stable framework through which the ideas to be covered are dealt with without the divergence from the mainstream idea. It also helps to keep the negotiation talks on course. A negotiation plan should always be drafted taking into consideration each and every aspect.

The objectives for each party involved must be viable to help the lead negotiator comprehend the true stand. Both parties should also strive to be realistic. Being honest is crucial to the success of any negotiation. For the negotiator to strike a balanced deal, the negotiator must know the real truth.

This is only achieved by thorough briefing to the lead negotiator. The plan should not at any moment exclude the intended structure of negotiation. If the discussion proceeds to the plan as intended, success can be achieved. A well-structured plan should have at least an opening position, the order through which negotiation will take place, the manner through which the issues will be raised.

The most significant thing in any negotiation is for each team to define their respective roles and the contributions to make. Each member in the negotiation group should be briefed on the subject tackled and the process of negotiation process. The members in the negotiation process should have a role to play.

In all negotiation talks the leader forms their epicenter thus should be respected. The leader is responsible for the success of any negotiation talks. He provides the guidelines to be followed. All participants should be case sensitive and pay attention. The worst thing that can happen to a leader is when the leading role is compromised.

This drains down to deviation from the stipulated negotiation plan. Even though nothing goes as planned, both parties must stick to the plan. Diversion from the plan is the leader doing. No new information should be tabled without the consent of the leader. The teams involved should be united until the closure of the process.

The credibility of the team is put into question if it appears to be divided. Any disagreement should not be made public, but should be treated discreetly. Sometimes it is of benefit to feign ignorance and evade some questions which may jeopardize the strength of the team. Questions which may seem to be obvious should be avoided.

Questions which seem to be difficult for one to answer should be avoided especially those that are out of an individual profession. One should also be economical in answering questions. The questions should also be answered with a lot of certainty. Information should not be volunteered. This leads to objective lose and revelation of the secrets to the other group.

In the push for their views the teams should be aggressive, but in a formal manner. Negotiations at any instance are not easy, but they are tough and time involving. The other aspect of negotiation is the attainment of satisfaction. Good principles should be observed after the process of negotiation.

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