When you are stuck in those long negotiations. Have battled too much for your points. Can’t listen anymore to the arguments of the other side. Can’t even listen to your own arguments anymore. Then you need to chill out. Take a break or leave a subject (where your intervention is less required) to your fellow negotiators and chill out. But how? Listen 5 minutes to “negotiation chill out music”. Something thematic, something relaxing.

What’s your choice? 

Listen to the music…

My recommendation goes to “Riders on the storm” from The Doors. You can click here to listen on YouTube while you read on:

… and dream away with the lyrics

I think most people will agree that the sound is relaxing. But what about the lyrics? Is it applicable to that feeling we can get as negotiators?

Riders on the storm
Riders on the storm
Into this house we’re born
Into this world we’re thrown
Like a dog without a bone
An actor out on loan
Riders on the storm

Contract negotiations are like riding on a storm. The “house you’re born” is the company you are working for and representing. The “dog without a bone” is symbolizing the hunger of the negotiator to achieve an acceptable agreement.

Negotiating contracts sometimes feels like being an actor on a play that has to be played. You know your arguments and can foresee the arguments that the other side will bring on the table. Some part of the theatre just has to be played. Otherwise you can’t say to someone of your back-office that you’ve sincerely tried to gain what he or she made a big deal about. Something that is simply un-negotiable. You know it and, when your counterpart comes with their arguments, it’s almost a relief.

Dependence and love

The world on you depends
Our life will never end
Gotta love your man

Your company depends on the contract you are negotiating. Jobs are at stake. This is important for the future. Order intake has to be achieved. A big pressure on your shoulders.

Our (professional) life are these negotiations and they will / seem to never end in spite of your eagerness to close the deal.

If you want to be in a win-win spirit, you have to love the other side of the negotiation (your client, your subcontractor, whomever you are negotiating with). Otherwise you cannot propose that balanced deal and would feel bad about any concession you make. But it is not easy when that party is hammering on your head with their arguments, is blocking.

Equally so, your back-office should love you as their negotiator. If there is no such trust, no such respect for the efforts you put into this, no such confidence that you will bring back home a good deal, you can better stop it and let someone else give it a try.

Take a long holiday
Let your children play

When you are out there, remember that better, more relaxing, times will come. See it as a mission that you have to accomplish. But thereafter you will take that holidays and spend some time with the kids.

Be careful…

There’s a killer on the road

If you give this man a ride
Sweet family will die
Killer on the road

Be careful for aggressive tactics of the other side. If you give in on something unacceptable for your company (your “sweet family”), the consequences can be disastrous. Keep your focus on that balanced deal. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t let the time play against you. Remain patient and insist on what you need and what you can or should get.

… and ride on

Riders on the storm


Riders on the storm

It’s OK. This “negotiation chill out music” has calmed you down. You can continue riding the storm. Hopefully grab a good wave. You can go on and reach a good deal !

This post is part of our series illustrating important contract management subjects by music to make it more fun. You can click here to see other posts of that series.

About AfiTaC

AfiTaC.com is the blog on commercial and contractual subjects for the Project Businesses (Construction, Infrastructure, Oil & Gas, Power & Renewable, Water Supply & Sanitation, etc). Its objective is to stimulate reflection, learning, convergence to balanced contracts and positive dispute resolution. You can subscribe to our newsletter by writing to “newsletter@afitac.com”. You can also connect to our LinkedIn page. Engagement with the readers is what keeps us going. So, don’t hesitate to exchange with us by commenting here below, liking our publication on LinkedIn and writing to us “info@afitac.com”. 


Jan Bouckaert

Jan Bouckaert has 25 years of worldwide experience in negotiation of complex construction, renewable energy, power and infrastructure projects. He is also specialized in contract management, risk management and alternative dispute resolution. During Jan’s career path, he lived in France, Belgium, Egypt, India and Portugal and worked for GE Renewable Energy, Alstom Hydro, Besix/Six Construct. He is a Civil Engineer from the University of Leuven (Belgium) and has an MBA from ISEG (Portugal). He speaks fluently English, French, Portuguese and Dutch. Jan is the founder of AfiTaC, a company giving advice on international tenders and contracts. Be welcome to connect on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/afitac/

1 Comment

Blog on contracts, "AfiTaC.com", new status after 6 more months - AfiTaC.com · 16 May 2019 at 8 h 27 min

[…] What is the perfect “negotiation chill out music”? […]

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