Early engagement in negotiation is probably the easiest way to solve any dispute. The opportunity to negotiate arises at the beginning of a dispute when the possibility to resolve a difference can be achieved with a minimum of detriment and cost. Unfortunately this opportunity is often missed. Negotiation can take place when the issues are still fresh in the mind and before positions become entrenched. However, successful negotiation requires both parties to be willing and able to see the ‘common sense’ in coming to an early resolution.

At the point that the parties in a dispute seek formal advice it often provokes opposing positions, where the possibility to negotiate effectively becomes increasingly limited. Constructive negotiation ahead of this point allows both parties to take advantage of the opportunity to negotiate and settle. In most cases early negotiation can provide an early resolution and the end to a dispute.

“You can’t shake hands with a clenched fist”

Indira Gandhi,
Indian politician