Tips for Communication & Transparency in Contract Drafting
Communication and transparency are key in the early stages of the contract drafting process. From navigating contract terms to making sure involved parties are on the same page, the beginning of the contract lifecycle relies on an open and ongoing dialogue between individuals for the best results.
Have a Vision & Solid Goals in the Initial Drafting Stages
Before pen hits paper, it is important to understand what the contract will outline, how long it will be valid, and what obligations each party has to fulfill. Having solid goals in mind will make drafting the contract easier, and ensure that no vital details are left out when the contract is implemented. Doing a rough outline of a contract by first listing major themes and then moving onto intricate details is the first step in clarifying what you want to convey to other people that will be reading the contract- if each component of the contract is clear to you, there’s less chance of a misunderstanding when the contract is viewed by another party.
Be Weary of Using Vague Language
Ambiguous language will make the contract more difficult to understand and interpret. Using short, but meaningful sentences gives the contract value rather than a collection of vague statements. Sticking to commonly used terminology and phrases that will hold up in court is important to making the contract legally binding. When planning out the drafting process, seeking professional advice or trusted templates are a good jumping off point to make sure the contract is headed in the right direction.
Communicate Early On & Seek Legal Advice
Maintaining open communication with all members in the contract management process is important to eliminating any misunderstandings or a breach of contract. When it comes down to it, a contract is a negotiation and the parties involved want to make sure they are getting the best possible outcome. Speaking with a lawyer before negotiating can help crystallize what you are willing to compromise on and what terms need to be met exactly.
Know Your Terms Before Negotiating
Before discussing terms with the other party, individuals should know exactly what they want before going into the discussion to avoid being swayed into an unsavory decision. When speaking with the other party, it is important to be firm, yet fair, making it clear that you have certain expectations but are willing to be flexible. The initial or first rounds of contracts will be different from the final version, and sorting out some difficult topics during this transitional phase in a more informal and conversational manner can make sticky issues less awkward. An honest approach early in the contract cycle can contribute to a thorough and detailed final contract.