Friday, November 9, 2012

Negotiations and Contracts

Sometimes we are the customer, sometimes we are the supplier. It is always amazing how people can react one way when they are the supplier and do the opposite when they are the buyer.

In this week's parsha we see two different perspectives on negotiations. One from Abraham and one from Laban and Bethuel, Rebekah's father and brother.

Abraham is looking for a place to bury his wife Sarah and he wants a specific place, the Cave of Machpelah and as it turns out he is willing to pay any price. It was a seller's market. Abraham wanted to make it clear which cave and in which plot of land he wanted. And the owner offered a set price and it was agreed. No argument, just respectful dealings, even if possibly a steep price was involved. You could also say he saw a bargain and was willing to jump on it. Either way  there was not much of any negotiation.

Laban in contrast was looking for the upper edge, trying to get as much as he could in advance before giving away his daughter in marriage. Trying to buy some time by delaying for almost a year, in the hope of obtaining more jewelry or gold or whatever he thought he could gain.

Pretty similar to how clients act at times. And in return how we act sometimes to our contractors. Delay tactics in the hope someone becomes desperate and will grant more concessions. Perhaps to agree to a set fee that is fair or all inclusive. Either way they both ended in a respectful way, even if how they got there was rather diverse.

Sometimes we learn the good and the bad traits from the Torah, it is one of the unique aspects of it to show not everyone was perfect and there were not just great people being written about.
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Parsha Chayei Sarah in the book of Bereishit, 23:1-25:18 It is said that the Torah or Bible
could be interpreted in over 70 ways. More likely these days 100's of ways. In light of this idea, I am writing some posts that bring business sense to what we can learn on a weekly basis. Enjoy, Shabbat Shalom