October 7th, 2018
Two arms reaching out with a handshake with a large group of miniature individuals standing on their arms

You have read about negotiation. You have practiced techniques. You are prepared. You have researched the other party on social media. You are ready to work on developing a great relationship. You believe you are ready to actively listen before beginning to educate the other party. You are looking for a win-win negotiation so that you can create value. Here are three other items to allow you to step up your game.

October 1st, 2018
Two individuals shaking hands across a table after a negotiation

In some negotiations it seems like the deal will never close. This can be a technique used by one side to wear down the participants of the other side, it could be the result of factors beyond the control of participants or something else that you may never know. This commentary addresses such a situation, when you need or want to close the deal and the other side does not. What should you do? This article addresses this question.

September 24th, 2018
A hand holding up a pole.  On the pole are signs pointing each direction that state "I don't know"

Sometimes both parties agree to disagree, but it can be possible for the parties to come up with a contingency agreement to memorialize perspectives and set up the parties for success in the future.  This commentary addresses this type of situation.  This may essentially be a bet on the future that both parties can live with going forward.

How about the IRS?

September 10th, 2018
Person with paint roller painting over the word "Problem" and standing in front of the words "No Problem"

Often when two parties are in a conflict with one another, one party feels more aggrieved than another. At other times the conflict is symmetric and both parties feel equal coming into a negotiation. This commentary addresses how to evaluate the situation when the situation is asymmetric and what can be done when one party feels very aggrieved and the other does not share in this perception.

August 27th, 2018
Two people have made a bridge across a deep ravine and a third person is running across over their backs

You know how it is. You have been to training and you know that you are supposed to do. You are supposed to listen. You are supposed to be empathetic and develop a relationship. That is great in theory, but what about with a difficult person. 

August 6th, 2018
White male with a stern look on his face.

What is a difficult hard bargainer and how can you possibly work with such a person? We all run into folks like this at times. This can cause frustration and consternation. Do we take the time to explore what is behind this negative approach? Should we? How would we do that if we did? How can we work with them?

July 9th, 2018
A man walking away on a narrow boardwalk with tall sea grass on either side.

When is it time to walk away from a negotiation? In short, when a trusted third-party advisor counsels you that is time to let it go. When mediation is not an option. When you are focused on sunk costs to recover rather than pertinent information now. When your focus is on fairness rather than objective criteria. There are many reasons why negotiations fail and why collaboration may not work. After all collaboration is hard. If the other party does not want to collaborate that pretty well ends the reason for trying to go forward.

June 18th, 2018
Baby sleeping soundly in a car seat

Focusing on conflict resolution and collaboration I have found one of the keys for decision makers to make great decisions has to do with having enough sleep. This blog provides two very good resources for you if you are having trouble getting enough sleep. With the right amount of sleep, you will be less irritable, and you will be able to see the world in a more positive light. This can lead to less conflict and help you see more opportunities for collaboration.

May 28th, 2018
Collie looking questioningly at the camera

Dispute resolution may begin with a negotiation, move into mediation and could eventually require arbitration or litigation. Generally, most negotiations move smoothly and do not need to escalate to the other levels. In other situations, the parties may move to one of the other levels immediately. The less expensive and the least time-consuming approach is the negotiation without having to escalate to one of the other levels.

May 14th, 2018
Two shadows of individuals having a discussion with each other with the scales of justice in the background

Working with clients with issues at the IRS there are five steps to consider along the way. These are preparation, discussion, clarifying interests, negotiation, documentation of the agreement.  These five elements are addressed in terms of an IRS negotiation.  It is not always possible to have a wonderful negotiation, but these five steps can certainly increase the probability of success.

May 7th, 2018
A pair of worn white roller skates with long red shoe laces

Two very real-world questions for you are: how should you dress for a negotiation, mediation, conflict resolution or a collaboration; and how may your dress influence the process?

How you dress may not really matter, but on the other hand dress may be very important. Whether it is or not here are some things to consider.

April 16th, 2018
Swan not sharing pond with ducks

It has been demonstrated that collaboration is important in the work place and it works. It has also been shared why collaboration is so hard. Today’s focus is on why collaboration does not work.