ADR Times

Conscious Contracts – Creating a Sustainable Business Relationship

Eventually, conflicts will arise, so why not plan for things to go right at the outset in contractual negotiations and create a conflict management framework for your business dealings?

Drafting a “Conscious Contract” is the first step in forging a solid business relationship by starting a deal on a mindful and constructive foundation.

It is important to note that our adjudication systems in their present form are not equipped to deal with the live dynamics of our constantly changing business world. Business parties are often left frustrated by legal systems that are not efficient or conducive for resolving disputes relating to their deals. A Conscious Contract can thus function as a customized and “living document” that has practical-use based inflexible application.

The drafting parties place power into the agreement by predicting typical issues that can arise and designing a private justice system based on promoting problem-solving. Consciously co-creating an environment to foster resolution of conflict allows the parties to forge durable business dealings.

Conscious Contracts lead to sustainable business relationships that prosper.

By counteracting the inevitable pressures of disputes, the parties start the deal with strong and empowered relations, consciously creating their business dynamic.

It is important to understand that business partnerships must focus on having difficult conversations early to manage future interpersonal legal conflicts that are inevitable.

Avoid business growing pains, by negotiating difficult legal conversations regarding roles, equity, responsibilities & long-term vision at the outset of the business relationship. By facilitating a discussion of the sticky and difficult legal conversations with your business partners, you can draft a legal document to reflect your vision for the business.

“All events should be crossed in imagination before reality” – Sigmund Warburg, founder of UBS

Likewise, avoid Handshake Deal Syndrome: “I trust & know you, so we don’t need to involve any lawyers. Let’s do this on our own.”

While tackling your own legal matters may be cost-effective and ideal for some instances, customized counsel to guide you through conscious legal planning & strategy is optimal & prudent. The old adage that a contract is only as good as the paper it is written on is true, since the parties’ buy-in and willingness to comply with any legal document are external to the Agreement itself.
Indeed, a contract is a mere vessel that encapsulates the parties’ legal relationship & dealings.

Long gone are the days of static documents to capture the energy of your constantly changing relational dynamics. A personal touch is required to honor the underlying relationship the document is meant to represent.
By empowering the underlying relational-pinnings around our legal documents and strengthening the foundation that the Conscious Contract is forged, we optimize its efficacy and practical impact. People are more willing to comply if they feel invested in the contract drafting process, have a relational context for the document, and sense their input was heard. This mainly happens when we create the time to lay a mindful foundation for a Conscious Contract by honoring the human components and understanding the personal context of the document.

“When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills” – Chinese Proverb
Will your Conscious Contract be a wall or windmill fueled by the winds of change?

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