Thoughts and Insights by Michael Gregory

Disputes

Organization chart in the background and silhouette's of a group of professionals in the foreground
October 17th, 2020

This is how to balance roles as an expert and as a consultant

You’re an expert witness. You investigated the facts, you developed your expert analysis, and now you have an expert report and opinion ready for court. This for example is what a business valuer provides their client. There it is. Case closed right? The next steps are depositions, critique the other side’s report and testify at trial. That is what many experts think and do. They do not advocate for the client, but they do advocate for their position. Is that enough? Is there a better way? Let’s explore this. May there be a better way for the expert to maintain integrity and offer more timely closure to the ultimate client saving time, money, energy, toil, mental health, and physical health?

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King portrait with key words behind such as nonviolent
October 12th, 2020

How to Use Nonviolent Communication in Conflicts and Disputes

Having attended a two-hour training session with Anthony Streiff on the topic of Applied Nonviolence in an Unequal World sponsored by Conflict Resolution Minnesota I wanted to share some of my take aways that may help you too.

A two man bobsled taking off out of the starting gate
September 28th, 2020

This is how emotional triggers affect you in a negotiation

Your attitude in a negotiation is key. Your attitude determines how you may react to triggers during a negotiation. Do you think this will be successful or not? Likely your attitude will assist you in reaching that conclusion. If you don’t think it will be successful, it won’t. If you do think it will be successful the chances are it will. What can you do to ensure you have the right attitude and to make sure that if the other party hits your hot button that you won’t sabotage or that they won’t sabotage the negotiation?

Alberta Canada reflection of sky and mountains on lake
September 22nd, 2020

Apply the art of de-escalation to a conflict

Have you ever been in a conflict with someone about something and wanted to either prevent the situation from escalating, tone down the rhetoric, or wanted to de-escalate a tense situation? There are ways to address each of these types of situations. Ideas are presented here. From the book Peaceful Resolutions Chapter two focuses on The Art of De-escalation. Elements of that chapter are being offered here to help with each of these three situations.

Two caricatures of faces. One red and one blue each looking the opposite way
August 31st, 2020

This is how to overcome your conflicts

The Collaboration Effect® is all about connecting relationships, listening actively, and educating judiciously in order to build bridges to negotiate closure. This is a core statement. Although many blogs have been offered through this site relating to the application of The Collaboration Effect with the IRS, estate planning, exit planning, working with difficult people and in many other areas at my blog site, I want to take this opportunity to spend a little more time on each of these elements of The Collaboration Effect. This commentary is a little more detailed than any of the other blogs, but is still simply an introduction to the topic.

two caricatures with one lifting a sign stating "ethics" on one end and the other with his had on the sign on the other end
July 14th, 2020

This is how to remain ethical with hard bargainers

With the advent of artificial intelligence ethics is taking on additional importance. The Harvard Program on Negotiation identifies five principles for consideration. Linda Fisher in her book, 7 lenses, Learning Principles and Practices of Ethical Leadership offers seven lenses of ethical responsibility. A question is how can these principles and ethical responsibilities be applied to negotiations? When working with principled negotiators the ethical principles and ethical responsibilities seem to be very practical. What about when needing to address hard bargainers that don’t seem to have principles and ethical responsibilities?

 A grouping of words with the word TAXES in caps and red. All the words have something to do with taxes
June 22nd, 2020

Here are five good negotiating techniques to use with the IRS and others

When you are involved with a negotiation with the IRS or another party where it appears there may be significant differences of opinion, here are five good negotiating techniques to consider. Start off by determining your and their positions. What is your Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA), what do you think is their BATNA? Next consider offering the first alternative position known as an anchor to set the stage. Listen actively without judgment to understand where they are coming from. Reframe the negative to a neutral or even into a positive when possible. Finally, seek advice from those with experience in these matters. Beware those that should have the expertise, and focus on those that know what they are talking about.

two black silhouettes on the left and the right with the word negotiation in blue behind them
June 14th, 2020

Here are the three best tips to negotiate closure

Previously on this blog tips have been presented on how to negotiate closure, how to close a deal in a negotiation, and closing the deal – what is the impact on the next one. Reflecting on these blogs and considering that we can remember three things well, this blog priorities the three best tips to negotiate closure. In the end isn’t that what we want whether it be a sales deal, a business negotiation or an end to a conflict? My experience is, that is what the decision maker wants. In corporate America the VP’s may be only oriented towards their area of influence, but the C-Suite people want closure. That’s what business owners want too. So, what are these three best tips? Negotiate the process including benchmarks and deadlines Come up for air When needed bring in fresh faces

Young beautiful African American couple, happy and apparently in love
June 8th, 2020

Minnesota Nice, People of Color, Conflict Resolution, and Collaboration

After the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis Minnesotans are taking a good hard look at themselves. This is causing conflict at levels not seen here before at least in my time in Minnesota (since 1983). So, what does Minnesota nice, people of color, conflict resolution, and collaboration have to do with each other? Everything. Giving this some thought as a person that works on conflict resolution; diversity, equity and inclusion with the Minnesota State Bar Association with the board of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section; someone that has taught on this topic; and someone who conducts regular research on this topic, here are some thoughts and ideas as Minnesotans wrestles with these issues.

Image of head with words such as promote, excuse, admire, evaluate, measure inside the head in multiple colors
May 18th, 2020

Here are three things great collaborators avoid

Have you ever worked for a great leader or manager? What did you like about the person? Have you ever worked for a poor leader or manager? What was it that he or she did that really gave you heartburn? Were they a micromanager? In your face? A poor listener? You can learn from great leaders and managers what to do and from poor managers and leaders what not to do. In practice what are the three biggest things to avoid as a great collaborator with others? These are: don’t be so critical, don’t worry so much about the future, and don’t make unrealistic expectations on yourself or others. Let’s take a look at each.

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