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Business Conflict: Tips for Settling Business Disputes Part 2

Business Conflict: Tips for Settling Business Disputes Part 2

In part 1, I discussed the importance of knowing how to negotiate business deals and mitigate conflict whenever possible. Besides being a financial drain, business disputes can also create conflicts that require precious time and energy to resolve. Setting clear boundaries and realistic expectations when making professional agreements is essential in setting yourself up for positive outcomes.

Although avoiding conflict is preferred in professional matters, it is imperative to be prepared to handle business disputes properly when the need arises. Following these valuable tips will increase your chances of a positive outcome when business disputes must be settled.

Clarify the Actual Dispute: Ensure you understand what the desired outcome the other party seeks for resolution. It is equally important to clarify your own desired outcome. It can be challenging to see what’s actually going on when emotions are high. Speak with a trusted advisor to help you get clarity.

Offers Without Prejudice: Once you are in the dispute resolution process, be mindful when making offers for resolution. Ensure that you state that your offer is “without prejudice” and with no admission of guilt, so that if you do end up having to go to court, the offer cannot prejudice your case.

Use Alternative Dispute Resolution Models: Going to court is a lose/lose scenario for everyone involved. Be sure you have mediation and arbitration provisions built into every agreement you sign. Resolve matters outside of court, whenever possible.

Don’t Rely Solely on Your Legal Rights: If you want to avoid going to court—and it’s usually in your best interest to do so— put a good faith effort into finding a mutually beneficial solution on which to agree while still invoking your rights. I can help you with that as we focus on finding resolve in every conflict, by seeking to identify where the respective parties’ needs can be met and matched up as part of your conflict resolution process.

Watch Your Wording: Settlement offers can be complicated. The way an agreement is worded or structured can affect the outcome, especially if that outcome is a financial judgment. Make sure you have a thorough understanding of the terms and conditions in any settlement offer. And never make a settlement offer without having me strategize and review the wording with you first.

Most importantly, get legal advice from a dedicated and trusted business lawyer. A lawyer can help you avoid all of the above mistakes and will protect your best interests during settlement negotiations.

This article is a service of Tara Cheever, Family Business Lawyer®. I offer a complete spectrum of legal services for businesses and can help you make the wisest choices on how to deal with your business throughout life and in the event of your death. I also offer a LIFT Start-Up Session™ or a LIFT Audit for an ongoing business, which includes a review of all the legal, financial, and tax systems you need for your business. Call me today to schedule.

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Business Conflict: Tips for Settling Business Disputes Part 1

Business Conflict: Tips for Settling Business Disputes Part 1

A large part of being a successful business owner is knowing how to make deals and facilitate conflict when it arises.

When in a dispute over a deal or an agreement that has been made, the potential costs are endless. The potential cost of litigation, the potential cost of loss of reputation, the potential cost of the energetic drain from the conflict.

What do you need to know about conflict to mitigate these costs?

First and foremost, remember that costly conflict most often arises because the agreement process was not properly handled to begin with.

The ideal time to surface conflicts is in the beginning of a relationship by creating clear boundaries and expectations, using the agreement process.

The best agreement process will support both parties to share the parts of themselves they may typically hide while making an agreement, while at the same time, asking the hard questions they may not ask.

It’s often difficult to see the things we are hiding when making agreements, or to ask the challenging questions, and that’s why it’s so helpful to have a trusted advisor support you each time you are entering into an agreement with anyone, whether it be a new team member, a business partner, or a strategic partner.

When the agreement process is used to create each of your agreements, and before you ever finalize a deal of any type, the number of expensive business disputes you will have will be greatly diminished, if not eliminated completely.

But what happens if there is a conflict?

In Part 2, we will cover what to do once a conflict has happened. Look for that next week.

No one wants to end up in a dispute. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce your chances of conflict in the future. To start, find a trusted legal professional who will help you put protective measures in place to avoid the most common mistakes businesses make. That’s why a Family Business Lawyer® is there to help you face the challenges of owning a business.

I help small business owners negotiate settlements and channel their time and energy toward growth and potential instead of putting out fires. I’ll begin by sitting down to discuss how you can implement a robust legal, insurance, financial and tax system that will streamline your business operations and minimize your risk of encountering contract disputes.

This article is a service of Tara Cheever, Family Business Lawyer®. I offer a complete spectrum of legal services for businesses and can help you make the wisest choices on how to deal with your business throughout life and in the event of your death. I also offer a LIFT Start-Up Session™ or a LIFT Audit for an ongoing business, which includes a review of all the legal, financial, and tax systems you need for your business. Call me today to schedule.