Before You Sign on the Dotted Line, Know What You’re Committing To

Cperky's Blog

When negotiating, be very careful about the commitments you make. Never agree to something just to avoid walking away empty-handed. But if you do have some good options on the table, assess each one thoroughly. Are these options operational and sufficient? The timeline, terms, and conditions need to be realistic and detailed enough that the agreement can actually be implemented. Do you have the authority to commit to these options? Think through whether you can sign on the dotted line — or if you need someone else’s approval.

Finally, ask if you’ll be able to sell these options internally to key stakeholders. You should test the solutions with the right people — your boss, upper management, your team — before making any promises. Leave committing to anything until the very end.

Adapted from the HBR Guide to Negotiating by Jeff Weiss.

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