The 'Could Have Been Better' Feel After Executing A Contract

Corp Comm Legal


Corp Comm Legal is an independent Indian law firm headquartered in New Delhi, India. The firm specialises in advising on corporate / commercial legal advisory services to its Indian and foreign clients focusing on M&A, Joint Ventures, IPR protection, Due Diligence, Contracts, Negotiation, Documentation, Strategic Advice.
Invariably, each party would feel they ceded a bit more than they would have liked to.
India Corporate/Commercial Law
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Done with negotiations and concluded the contract?

What are your feelings?

Invariably, each party would feel they ceded a bit more than they would have liked to.

After concluding a contract, it's not uncommon for both parties to have lingering feelings of dissatisfaction or the sense that the deal "could have been better."

This stems from various factors such as unmet expectations, uncertainty about future conditions, or changes in market dynamics.

How do you overcome this feeling and be happy?

As a professional successful in bringing these parties to a common ground, to reconcile and address these feelings, here are some steps that may help:

Communication between parties. Encourage both parties to express their post-contract thoughts and concerns openly. This may help in understanding each other's perspectives and identifying areas of improvement for future collaborations.

Analysis. Conduct a structured review of the contract's performance, identifying what worked well and what could have been improved. Use this analysis to inform future negotiations and contracts.

Renegotiation: If there are some major aspects of the contract that both parties feel could be improved, consider renegotiating specific terms or conditions to better align with the original expectations. This could involve revisiting certain clauses, pricing structures, or deliverables to better reflect the evolving needs of both parties. Alternatively, you could insert a provision for their reconsideration after some time.

Establishing Clear Metrics: Implement clear and measurable metrics within the contract that allow both parties to objectively evaluate the success of the contract at regular intervals. This can provide a shared understanding of what success looks like and help mitigate feelings of unmet expectations.

Continuous Improvement: Emphasise the importance of a continuous improvement mindset. Encourage both parties to view the conclusion of the contract not as an endpoint, but as a learning experience and a starting point that can be a touchstone for future agreements, leading to more mutually satisfying outcomes.

I keep saying that perfection in contracts can indeed be elusive, and it's important to acknowledge that no contract can foresee or account for every future eventuality and make all parties 100% happy with all terms and conditions. Many variables, such as changing market conditions, unforeseen circumstances, and differing interpretations of contract terms, can impact the performance of a perfect contract.

Rather than striving for unattainable perfection, it may be more beneficial to focus on creating comprehensive, well-structured contracts that address the key concerns and objectives of all parties involved. This includes clear and unambiguous language, mutually beneficial terms, and realistic performance expectations that can adapt to changing circumstances when needed.

In addition, open communication, flexibility, and a willingness to address and amend any issues that arise during the contract's lifecycle can be more valuable than attempting to achieve an unattainable level of perfection. By embracing the idea that contracts are living documents that may require adjustments over time, parties can work together to navigate challenges and ultimately achieve more successful outcomes.

By taking these steps, both parties can work towards reconciling any lingering dissatisfaction and developing a more constructive approach to future contracts.

Originally published by 21 February, 2024

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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