How to Break an Impasse in Contract Negotiations
Contracts are the basis of most modern commercial relationships. A good agreement is worth its weight in gold. Not only will it clarify expectations, but it will protect your company in the unfortunate event that something goes wrong.
Of course, it is not always so easy to get the right contract in place. Even when parties both want to reach a deal, they may still run into obstacles. Here, our Miami business litigation attorneys offer five actionable tips to help you break an impasse in contract negotiations.
- Take a Break
One of the best tips for breaking a contract impasse is also one of the most simple: Take some time to cool off. A break in the negotiations can be especially useful if the parties are getting frustrated and seemingly talking past each other. You do not want to blow up a good relationship during a tense contract negotiation. In many cases, people are able to come back to the table with clear eyes and a fresh perspective.
- Set a Difficult Issue to the Side
In many contract negotiations, there are a few sticking points that come up again and again. A relatively small but difficult issue could easily undermine an otherwise advantageous agreement. As a general rule, it is a good idea to set these small issues aside when they come up. That being said, the proper strategy always depends on the circumstances of the case. If there are major sticking points, it may not be advisable to set them to the side for too long. You do not want to waste your precious time negotiating an agreement that can never work.
- Zoom Out and Restate Your Progress
For professional negotiators, one of the oldest tricks in the book is getting parties to zoom out for a second and simply summarize the progress that they have made. Assuming you and your counterparty have already made real progress towards an agreement, this can be an incredibly effective tool for breaking an impasse. When both parties can see just how much progress they have made, it is much easier to get into a collaborative and productive mindset.
- Try to Think Outside of the Box
With an especially difficult impasse, it may be time to get creative. By thinking outside of the box, the parties can look for solutions that they may not have previously considered. There may be opportunities on the table.
- Consider Mediation
Finally, it is never too late to seek professional guidance. Contract mediation can be extremely effective—particularly in cases where both parties know that they want to reach an agreement, but just cannot seem to come to a deal. A trained mediator can provide a structured, non-adversarial environment to facilitate an agreement.
Speak to a South Florida Contract Lawyers Today
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Florida business lawyers offer experienced and solutions-focus representation to our clients. If you are working to break a contract impasse, we can help. To request a confidential initial consultation, please call us today. From our offices in Miami, West Palm Beach, and Palm Beach Gardens, we represent clients in contract negotiations throughout the region.