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His experience and, therefore, his book’s special strength is its ability to reach back in time to present real examples of key points in these renegotiation areas. Freeman is a good story teller and presents his reader with interesting and truly illustrative examples of renegotiation engagements as a mainstay of his work. I am certain that readers will find his tales of fanciful department store discount games, software illusions and telecom trails littered with broken promises and non-working realities both interesting and importantly illustrative
There are many areas in which Marc Freeman excels and not the least of them is his focus on “win-win” goals, collaborative problem-solving, and carefully controlled honesty. These qualities and his focus throughout the book on “win-win” techniques is exemplary and, of course, applicable to all negotiations. Therefore, our answer to what is different about renegotiation is not in basic negotiation techniques and approaches.
The author’s principal contributions are two-fold: focus on renegotiation as a special area and further definition of that specialty through his highlighting its special needs.
The key to renegotiation rests in what Freeman calls “The Refresh Button.” Renegotiation is by definition a revisitation of a relationship whose rules were believed to be settled by an earlier agreement. Certainly, one might believe, the party reopening the agreement is not capricious and recognizes the inevitable harm they are causing from a breach of their earlier promises of performance. Or do they do so? And further, do they care?
Unquestionably, renegotiation is based in a potential quagmire of distrust, anger and confusion. Freeman’s most important section, to this reader, is his practical advice on how to move beyond the dark shadow of the demand for change and bring both parties into the sunshine that permits both change and the promise of a richer relationship for both parties. “Hit the refresh button,” the author asserts. Let us see if it promises success.
Honesty must be the base of on-going discussions. Here, it is critical that the renegotiator tells the truth; refuses to “spin” the reasons for the need for renegotiation no matter how great their desire for an alibi; works in the shadow of the common history to get past it. This is a time for encouraging venting by the other party. The renegotiator should honor and support that emotional need by their opponent.
This is the time for the renegotiator to listen and understand the other side, to appreciate the value of being nice and to work with the other party to make the past contract a shared-history between them that provides a bridge to a new future for both of them.
It is a valuable book, buttressed by a list of recommended reading, an index and a workbook.
Highly recommended for all negotiators.
You may reach Marc Freeman at www.marcfreeman.us
To order this book, please contact Freeman Business Books. Price is USD $20 (1-9 copies). Discount on larger quantities is available. You may order copies by writing:
Freeman Business Books
P.O. Box 2200
Fairfield, Iowa USA
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Copyright © 2007 John D. Baker
Copyright © 2007, The Negotiator Magazine