By Dr Opeodu Akintunde Chris.FIDR
Registrar CEO. institute of Debt Recovery Practitioners of Nigeria.(IDRPN)

Conflict in every relationship is a natural phenomenon and is an inevitable consequence of human interaction in any society. Negotiation is a major process for resolving disputes and managing operational problems.

According to black’s Law dictionary, negotiation is defined as “a process of submission and consideration of offers until acceptable offer is made and accepted”, it is also defined as “the deliberation, discussion, or conference upon the terms of a proposed agreement; the act of settling or arranging the terms and conditions of a bargain, sale, or other business transaction.

According to Chamber’s English dictionary, negotiation means “to bargain, to confer for the purpose of mutual agreement or to arrange for by agreement”. Thus negotiation is communication with a view to reaching agreement. Even IF YOU win, a lawsuit can be a disaster, but more and more businessmen are discovering that debt related litigation can be avoided with inventive use of debt negotiation.

All forms of debt negotiation are designed to do two things; save time and money. In the majority of cases, disputants settle their differences quickly and to the satisfaction of both parties. In the best of cases, opponents resolve their disputes cooperatively and forge new ties.

In picking the negotiation method best suited to your circumstances factors to consider include: the extent to which both disputants are committed to negotiation, the closeness of the business relationship between the two parties, the need for privacy, the urgency of reaching a settlement, the absolute and the relative financial health of both parties, the importance of the principles involved, the complexity of the size of the stakes, and the ability and willingness of company executives to get involved.

Negotiation may be for the purpose of structuring commercial agreements, resolving conflicts emanating from debts, managing operational problems and managing social problems. Negotiation may involve business associates, customers, clients, family members, neighbors, employers/employees, groups and nations. As it is always said, “everything is negotiable and everyone is a negotiator”. Generally, for whatever purpose negotiation is needed, the skills required for successful negotiation are virtually the same. Like any other skill, effective negotiation skill is one that can be acquired and developed over time with training, observation, and practice. In the light of the above, we can therefore say that Debt negotiation requires the same negotiation skills as any other business of negotiation.


Debt negotiation may be informal or formal. It may be at arranged meetings or impromptu. Most debt negotiations are informal, consequently, there is always the danger of someone being involved in one without being conscious of the fact that one is negotiating. Most people only realize that they are negotiating where the process involves a pre-arranged formal meeting. However, negotiations may be done in the course of casual meetings, by written communication, through electronic mail or by telephone. In the view of the rate of use of the telephone in debt negotiations and the dangers associated with it, it is necessary to consider some pertinent issues on telephone negotiations.

Use of telephone in debt negotiation

Amongst other forms of information and communication technology available for debt negotiations, the telephone can rightly be said to be the most common and easily accessible. The telephone is in no doubt a convenient means of communication. It makes the customer debtor at a distance easily accessible. The importance of telephone  in  debt   negotiations  cannot be underestimated; even where the ‘negotiation event’ is to be held at face-to-face meeting, chances are that most of the aspects of the ‘process’ including agreements on some preliminary and ancillary matters connected with the transactions are resolved through the telephone. However, it is necessary for negotiators to know some of the problems associated with telephone negotiations as well as the guides on how they may be avoided.


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