It is not easy to rectify stepping on a Diamond Back rattler. It is better to watch where you are going before blundering into trouble. 

Records of proceedings or notes are created to be corrected or rectified. If notes of a meeting or a contract do not accurately reflect the terms you recall, ask to have them changed or corrected. Be sure to question their accuracy. It is your right to make sure the record is correct.

Assume innocence on the part of the other person when you find errors or omissions but do not let them stand. You may need to rely on the record later and to have not corrected them when you had the chance makes you appear careless and not focused, worse yet you may be accused of trying to change the deal after the fact with no way to prove the allegations wrong. 

Statements are not as easy to correct. Once you have uttered something in a settlement conference, expect it to be relied on by the other person and, if appropriate, used against you. Before responding to a question or offering an opinion take a moment to think through what you are about to say to make sure the phrase reflects what you mean and cannot be taken in a different way. 

In a conflict resolution situation you need to consider the impact made by the tone of your remarks as much as what you are saying. Watch for the following signs that you are using an inappropriate tone or approach:

-A furrowing of the brow. 

-Tensing of the upper body. 

-Clenching of the hands. 

-A set jaw. 

-Leaning forward suddenly. 

-Looking away or closing a portfolio, folder or packing a briefcase. 

Most important, watch the eyes. When the other person is not focused on you, they are typically not listening. Effective communications stop at this point. 

In Seven Secrets to WINNING Without Losing a Friend, I discuss the need to keep written records of settlement agreements.

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