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Get it in writing, confirm it, store it, and stand by it.

In the age where business decisions can be made in the blink of an eye over a quick call or a brief meeting, the true power lies in getting agreements in writing. While verbal agreements are often made in good faith, the details can become murky over time, with clients and employers sometimes forgetting crucial aspects of discussions when it’s convenient. This is where the value of written communication shines, serving as a tangible reference for all parties involved.

The Fallibility of Memory

Human memory is fallible, and in the world of business, this fallibility can have significant consequences. A casual conversation or a phone call, although convenient, does not provide a reliable record. Over time, the specifics of what was said can be lost, or worse, intentionally misconstrued.

Written Communication as a Foundation for Accountability

Documenting discussions, agreements, and decisions via email, chat, or any other written medium establishes a clear, unambiguous record that can be referenced at any time. This practice not only protects all involved parties but also promotes transparency and accountability.

Steps to Ensure Clarity and Acknowledgment

Here’s how you can ensure that the agreements made in calls and meetings are solidified in writing:

  1. Summarize and Send: After every verbal agreement or discussion, promptly summarize the key points and send them via email or a documented messaging platform like Slack.
  2. Seek Confirmation: Request a confirmation or acknowledgment of the written summary. This step is crucial as it ensures that all parties are on the same page.
  3. Reference Point: Store these communications in an organized manner. This repository will serve as your point of reference for any future clarifications or disputes.
  4. Repeat as Necessary: Make this practice a standard part of your workflow. Consistency in following this process will instill it as a norm in your professional interactions.

The Legal Edge of Written Agreements

In legal terms, written agreements carry weight. In the event of disagreements or litigation, written records can be vital evidence that can sway the outcome in your favor. They serve as proof of the terms agreed upon and the expectations set forth by both parties.

Conclusion

In the business environment, where the spoken word can be as fleeting as the wind, the written word stands firm like a lighthouse, guiding the way and providing safety against the potential storms of miscommunication. Get it in writing, confirm it, store it, and stand by it. This approach will not only save you from misunderstandings but will also elevate your professionalism and the trust others have in your business practices. Remember, when in doubt, write it out.

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