Cutting off your nose to spite your face

By Peter Scott  |  Property Lease Negotiation  |  Tuesday 3rd March 2009

In today’s volatile economy, I’ve noticed some old wisdom coming to the fore. As everyone searches for answers, some standard old fashioned approaches are proving to be wise counsel.

For instance, the old saying “Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face” comes to mind.

It’s been my experience in many years of property lease negotiations that competitiveness, combativeness, stubbornness and inflexibility have often been behind a failure to reach agreement.

Some people insist on standing their ground at all cost, and will often incur a loss simply to prove they were right and get the better of someone across the table.

Right now this is not only an unfortunate approach, it could well be fatal.

The costs of not taking professional advice to find solutions, to negotiate in good faith and look for solutions that benefit both tenant and landlord, could see both parties go under.

All too often I have seen businesses incur losses simply because they couldn’t reach an alternative agreement with some compromise; simple give & take.

It is interesting to hear the widespread discussion about 9-day working fortnights and voluntary pay cuts. Those businesses where employees and employers are communicating and looking at alternative solutions for a win-win result will be the survivors.

It’s the same with property negotiation. The costs of failure to reach agreement are just too great right now.

It is critical that businesses draw on the available experience and expertise and take an open minded approach to reaching agreement. That way, all parties can keep their heads above water.

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