When should you put things in writing during the offer-concession stage of a negotiation?
First, understand the impact of something in writing – it appears more definite and inflexible than equivalent spoken words and provides you with more credibility and legitimacy.
Second, as a result, use written documents or written communications when you really need to minimize the chance of a miscommunication and when you’re dealing with complex, detailed issues that – if everyone is not on the exact same page – could substantially harm your relationship down the road with your counterpart.
Third, to the extent possible, take written notes during the oral phase of the offer-concession part of the negotiation to help you organize and communicate your ideas logically and prevent you from forgetting something important in the heat of the moment.
Fourth, at the conclusion of the negotiation confirm any oral commitments in writing as soon as possible. And write the first draft because it will then typically serve as the template from which any subsequent changes and negotiations proceed.
When has putting things in writing (or not) in a negotiation been helpful to you?