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Renegotiating With Integrity

“It’s not business, it’s personal”

Renegotiating is the art of altering, revising, or changing a previously negotiated relationship. This relationship can be in the form of any professional or personal contract or commitment in which we have made a written or oral promise.

But what is it really? Renegotiating means that someone has reneged a promise or commitment. What do we think of people who don’t keep their promises or commitments? Not very much.

I contend that we can renegotiate with integrity. We can renegotiate and keep our reputation intact, whether we must break a commitment, or we are on the receiving end of such an action.

How are negotiating and renegotiating alike? They both deal with the dynamics involved in moving two or more parties towards an agreement, contract, or promise.

How do they differ? Every renegotiation is a follow-up to a previously existing agreement. A renegotiation has a history; a negotiation usually does not. This distinction holds the key to understanding how to renegotiate successfully.

First, let’s admit that renegotiating does indeed result when someone reneges on a promise or agreement. This starting point gives us the right perspective on what we are attempting to do when we renegotiate. We shouldn’t fool ourselves into thinking that this does not involve breaking or changing a promise or commitment.

Don’t try and spin this perspective. It won’t work, and it’s not honest. Be clear about what you are doing when you want to renegotiate, and you will be received more positively. We don’t have to feel guilty that we can’t keep a promise. Feeling guilty is a waste of time. Renegotiating is inevitable because situations change.

Renegotiating with integrity requires clear, honest communication between all parties. Our approach is crucial. If our approach to the other party is honest, direct, and humble (yes, humble! and I will explain why), our receiving a positive response is more likely. Treating people with respect is the first key to successful renegotiating.

Freeman’s Five Principles:

It’s Not Business, It’s Personal. How to begin: how to organize a renegotiation on the basis of proper behavior. Identify the four sequential stages of any successful renegotiation: Common Ground, Solution, Comfort Zone, Settlement. These four stages are guides that serve as signposts, telling us where we are at any point in the renegotiation process and how to proceed. We need to behave as if it is personal, and react as if it is not.

The Secret of the Orange Ball is to help identify who is in control at any particular time in the process, and how to take control to reach the next stage.

Hit the Refresh Button is a key technique for keeping all parties (you included) focused on the essential goals at hand. This applies to the most common types of renegotiations: real estate lease renegotiations and buyouts, contract renegotiations and buyouts, contract collections, restructuring debt—accounts payable/accounts receivable, and personal contracts.

Transcend the Details focuses on the seven fundamentals of renegotiating. I use these fundamentals to guide you through each stage of the process, so you won’t gett bogged down in the details of the situation.

Calling in the Cavalry helps you to discern when, and where, to look for help during a renegotiation, and how best to make use of the valuable experience and expertise that others can offer you.