I’ve signed a lot of NDAs in the last year. I’ve signed a lot of papers that tell me what I can and cannot do, will or will not receive, may or may not share.
My favorite contracts are still the ones sealed over a beer and a handshake. I have had people break contracts, and NDAs. I have had people send me bad checks, or not send a check they promised.
I have never been disappointed with someone when I made an agreement over a beer and a handshake though. It probably has everything to do with being able to look people in the eye and measure them up. Most of the people I have had negative experience with are people I never met – in some cases never talked to. Of course, MOST relationships are fine no matter what the level of formality – but if I am conducting business with people over the phone alone – people I have never met before working with them, I have started paying attention to some little signs that I think are telling.
If they ask my about how my family is doing, and maybe even remember my kid’s names – they are not going to screw me over. If they remember I have a dog I love, they will not screw me over. If they have no interest whatsoever in who I am as a human being then they probably don’t value personal relationships. Or contracts. Or human beings.
People people don’t screw people. Others do.
That’s just my experience over the last 46 (sigh) years.
Of course there are exceptions to every rule. Sometimes someone that loves pets can be an ass. Nobody that hates children is ever any damn good 🙂