Make Sure Your Negotiations Deliver as Promised

Why do so many deals that looked great on paper end up in tatters? Negotiators focus too much on closing the deal -- and not enough on ensuring their agreement will work in practice. To avoid this mistake, adopt an "implementation mind-set."

Before inking an agreement, imagine it's one year into implementation of your deal. Ask: 1) "Is the deal working?" What metrics are you using to measure its success? 2) "What has gone wrong so far?" What have you done to fix problems? What signals suggest trouble ahead? 3) "What skills do we need to accomplish the deal's objectives?"

Answer these questions, and you won't get blindsided by surprises during implementation.

By washingtonpost.com Editors  |  November 5, 2008; 8:00 AM ET  | Category:  Management Tip of the Day
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