Monday, February 16, 2009

The Person With The Best Information Wins

Though we would like to believe that interactions, be they business or personal can be done today like they were in bygone years, the reality is that we live in a very litigious society. It doesn't seem that long ago that a handshake was all that was required to seal a deal and people would honor that handshake vehemently at the expense of their reputation if they did not.
Now I'm not saying business isn't done that way to some degree and there are still many honorable people in the world but the reality is that most of the world is looking out for their own best interest most of the time. Employees don't work for the same employer from the time they graduate until they retire any more. The other side of the coin is that employers don't feel the same loyalty to their employees like they used to either.
For this reason it is important to remember to that information is power today and we have many more sources of it. When there are disagreements, the person without documented evidence of a contract, a conversation, an email will be going by memory. Their mental impressions of the interaction may have changed or faded after much time has passed. Therefore, if I am having to support my position in a disagreement, whether it be purely legal or not, it is more likely that I will win the disagreement if I have detailed notes, recorded phone calls, saved emails, the support of a witness and anything else that is finite in nature rather than supposition based on memory and passed events.
So my recommendation is: take good notes, keep good files, and err on the side of more detail rather than less. One never knows when such a situation may arise or for what reasons, and this information could be the 1% difference between winning and losing.

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