DesignIntelligence: As a lawyer, for many years you’ve worked with very powerful people in New York real estate on complex and sometimes difficult negotiations and business decisions. What have you learned about navigating the people side of those interactions?
Jamie Frankel: It’s important for me to start any relationship or negotiation by initially learning about what’s important to the person or people in the “room” in order for me to achieve the business goals of my clients.
To develop that level of knowledge I use a question—“The Relationship Question”—which was taught to me by a mentor many years ago, and it has served me quite well over time.
The answer(s) to that question, along with three other related questions, allows me to know what the counterparty values that day (be it one person or a “committee”), whether or not it relates to the transaction or dispute. I call these “The Four Questions.”
I drive my negotiations around what the counterparty tells me that day in response to the Relationship Question and the three other questions.
I’ve found that no amount of off-site research can provide the answer(s) to the Relationship Question as surely as asking that question at the beginning of that day’s negotiation, whether it’s a face-to-face or electronic meeting.
Click here to access the article.