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Contract Guidelines

To better understand the contractual approach, consider what a contract is. It is an agreement between two or more people in which each promises something to the other. To ensure the agreement will be honored, the contract should be structured to meet the basic requirements of a valid contract.

  1. Each party clearly states wants/needs and each clearly agrees.

    Each asks, “Will you please...?”

    Each responds, “Yes, I will.”

  2. All parties benefit from the agreement.

    If only one person gains, the others may feel victimized later and break their promise. When each person benefits, everyone has some motivation to keep the agreement.

  3. All parties can do what they promise.

    All must have the ability and resources to do what they promise and accept the responsibility of being accountable for carrying out their commitment. This guideline is often broken when people make unrealistic time commitments.

  4. The agreement must be legal.

    If the contract violates a law or established policy or rule, or if it conflicts with a previously negotiated agreement, it is an unenforceable contract.

    To avoid disappointment and conflict, make sure that agreements stay within the rules.


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