Thoughts and Insights by Michael Gregory

Two bowels of fruit in heart shaped containers
January 13th, 2020

This is how to manage stress for attorneys, accountants, appraisers and business owners

Working with attorneys, accountants, appraisers and business owners I see a lot stress and issues associated with balancing work and life. Recently I received a nice article from the AICPA on ways CPAs can manage their stress.  Between that article, chapter 8 from The Servant Manager on “How to Find Work-life Balance” and some additional research I wanted to share some current thinking on the topic to help you. These may not all be right for you, but you may appreciate and be able to implement those that would work for you and potentially with you and your team. Keep in mind not all stress is bad. From the AICPA their four major points that all make sense to me are: get regular exercise, develop good sleep habits, embrace a healthy diet, and practice mindfulness. Reading several additional sources I elaborated on their ideas and added a fifth and that is practice empathy. Read on to learn more.

Tax type papers, coffee cup and calculator on a destk
January 6th, 2020

Token Concessions and Counteroffers in Negotiations with the IRS on Business Valuations

When you think of negotiations, do you think about the IRS? With all of the negatives on TV about the big bad IRS it is important to realize they are people with a job to do, and they are indeed people. As with any organization there can be zealots that are over the top. Depending on your experiences you may have met one, and that person may have set your bias on the IRS. However, the vast majority of IRS examiners are reasonable people. if you are open to resolving issues with the IRS, here are two key elements to consider. Before proceeding, reflect and remember your ethical principles and values to be true to yourself. If what you want to do is do the right thing, do what it takes and have closure these ideas can help you with the IRS. Let’s look at token concessions first.

Darth Vader with a lightsaber ready to strike
December 30th, 2019

Addressing revenge in negotiations

Most people understand each other’s positions and often the interests of each other. The hang up can instead relate to other issues such as personalities, values, history and other elements not directly related to the conflict. In these types of conflicts, the desire for revenge, getting even and even hurting the other person can be stronger than the desire to resolve the issue. There are three things to consider in these types of negotiations. These are considering interests and values separately, engaging with each other to build a positive relationship and working to reconcile differences.

Four hands fist pumping success
December 23rd, 2019

This is how to apply collaborative leadership to negotiations

Collaborative leadership is all about giving employees a voice, a chance and autonomy in decision making.  But how does this work in negotiations? Employees want clear expectations and they want to know what is expected of them. This takes explicit delegation.  This article looks at explicit delegation related to negotiations and presents three elements that could derail the process.  Taking these into account can make a real positive difference in a negotiation.  If you have employees working for you and they have to negotiate with others, this is directly on point. If you have to negotiate on behalf of your employer with others this is directly on point for you too.

Looking past a tree trunk down a path and to a lake
December 16th, 2019

Here are the best books for a better life in 2020

As a researcher, writer and speaker that focus on collaboration and overcoming conflict one of the sources that I receive content from is The Greater Good Science Center at the University of California at Berkeley. As experts in neuroscience with a recommended reading list of 10 books to provide “thought-provoking, practical and inspirational science” I wanted to share these and another book with you too

 A pair of hands holding soil with a plant starting to grow with two leaves
December 9th, 2019

This is how to grow a business

You may have heard to follow your passions, but if your passions are not financially viable this could be a disaster when initiating a business. Money matters. How much money do you need? You have to satisfy needs. Not wants mind you, but needs. When you are passionate about something, you likely spend a lot of time working on that activity and success follows. Success breeds more success.

An entry to a circular maze
December 2nd, 2019

This is how to avoid conflicts in a family business around succession planning

It can seem like a maze when addressing conflicts in a family business. Running a business is hard and complex. Running a family business increases the potential for conflicts even more. Finally, when considering the next step around succession planning the stress level can really go up. That’s why many avoid the situation. With so many businesses in this situation this article focuses on common issues to consider when transferring a business to children. 

two puppies. One with a small basket handle in his mouth. In the basket are various Thanksgiving goodies and kitten just in front of the basket
November 25th, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving: The Healing Powers of Gratitude

Happy Thanksgiving!  

A ying and yang that are black and white figures forming a circle with heads butting up against each other and key words in the back ground such as Bias and Opportunity
November 18th, 2019

Bias awareness can significantly enhance collaboration

This past week I was fortunate to hear Sybil L. Dunlop speak on Implicit Bias at the Minnesota State Bar Association Alternative Dispute Resolution Section. She gave an excellent presentation and gave us a lot to think about. Doing some more research around this topic I wanted to share some of what I learned from her and additional research that I found helpful. Awareness is key.

The word crazy in script hand writing written with a pencil and the pencil laying under the word
November 11th, 2019

Working with a crazy person - try self distancing

It has actually been found that speaking to yourself in the second or third person rather than the first person can change your emotional focus. Why is that important? When you find yourself starting to feel angry, this self-distracting technique can and actually will help you better regulate your emotions. This is a very powerful tool. The thing is to remember to do it. This is how. This three-step process can help you control your own temper and become known as the person that remains cool under pressure.  Both of these can help you with others, your career and at home.

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