My Negotiating Top Ten

handshakeMy list is constantly evolving; however, these ten tips form the foundation of my negotiating strategy and approach.

10. Research. When a new deal comes my way, I do research on who is on the other side of the negotiations. If you are able to find some common ground or interests, you can use some piece of information to start the negotiations in a non-adversarial manner. Knowing something about an alma mater, a law firm, or another part of their business can strike up an interesting aside before the heavy lifting starts.

9. What is your leverage? Look at the negotiation from the other side. It is great when one party can say, “take it or leave it” and really mean it; however, in my experience that is often a rarity. Strength in negotiation comes from knowing what may cause the other side to move on a position. Use that knowledge to best advance your position without being unnecessarily aggressive.

Continue ReadingMy Negotiating Top Ten

Rules to Work By

raised handMost of the lawyers I know and deal with are exceptional professionals and generally, great people. They are not the ambulance chasing, greedy, egocentric, lying, unethical, do anything for a buck hired guns that people stereotype as your traditional lawyer. As an in-house lawyer, my one client, the business, would suffer if I were to fall prey to these stereotypes. It is possible in some situations the loud aggressive pit-bull attorney finds success and is necessary. As an in-house construction lawyer, if that were my approach when dealing with other stakeholders, I would still be working on the first contract to come across my desk.

I have adopted some of the rules my six year old was sent home with after his first day of kindergarten. Listen, be safe, polite and respectful, and play nice with others. My playground is buzzing everyday with non-client parties like customers, subcontractors, vendors, GC’s, owners, regulatory agencies, the public, trade associations, unions and families. Finding a way to “play nice” with all of these competing influences and without sacrificing the duty to advocate for my client, has been my greatest challenge and biggest success.

Whether giving legal counsel or advising as a trusted business partner, in-house lawyers assist the business team with issues ranging from accidents, crisis management and work place safety to multi-million dollar contracts and employee harassment.

Continue ReadingRules to Work By