Thoughts and Insights by Michael Gregory

Three silhouettes with two black and one red. Underneath are the words Conflict Management in capital letters. Conflict is larger and in red. Management is smaller and in black.
February 24th, 2020

Three Big Ideas for Conflict Management

Conflict is not all bad. Conflict is very good when focused on a well-defined problem. Conflict in this sense is necessary to bring out the best ideas. The key is to be tough on the problem and gentle on the people. There are three key elements to keep in mind when you begin to feel the tension rising, and you begin or the other party begins to take it personally. This article focuses on what you can do to help yourself and others should you feel or they begin to feel it personally. These are calm the fire, listen to understand and work collaboratively on the right problem.

The word fear with a red cross and circle crossing out the word.
February 17th, 2020

Which conflict style works best with an IRS auditor and why?

Many articles have been written regarding the five conflict management styles we use every day. Similarly, much has been written about generational differences. This article explores these five conflict management styles, considers generational differences, and overall workforce dynamics when working with the IRS. IRS auditors have a job to do on exam. They fit into three broad categories. Knowing all of this information consider what might work best when working with an individual at the IRS on an examination.

Silhouettes of a man with glasses and woman conversing with each other and the scales of justice in the background
February 7th, 2020

Here are some great tips for any negotiation at work, home or with others

Here are some tips on negotiating closure whether at work, home or in life. Working on my latest book (no title yet), one chapter relates to building bridges to negotiate closure. Researching for that chapter I discovered nearly 100 blogs on negotiations that had been written over the last five years. Researching these further and narrowing them down, I wanted to share with you what I see as some pertinent topics for your consideration. Take a look at the titles and see which may resonate with you. I would love to hear back from you on these or others that you found helpful or interesting.

A group of people informally sitting around a table having a discussion
January 31st, 2020

This is how to encourage constructive conflict while collaborating

Constructive dissent if managed well can be very beneficial in finding a resolution to a conflict. The key is to encourage constructive dissent leading towards a collaborative process. Too much dissent is not healthy. It can become negative. Not enough dissent and good ideas will never rise to the surface. This article looks at how to promote the right amount of constructive dissent to have team members promote effective collaboration.

The word "We" with various quotes included in the "We" word
January 25th, 2020

What can we learn from famous quotes about collaboration?

Some very famous and well-known people have been quoted about teamwork and collaboration. We know what collaboration is. It is simply the action of working with someone else to produce or create something. It is that easy. However, it is more than cooperation. Cooperation is simply working together. Collaboration something more. It requires participants to work together for a common goal. So, what can we do to further enhance collaboration with others and others with us? Looking at some famous quotes here are some lessons that we can we learn from and apply at work, at home and in life.

A hand holding up three fingers
January 20th, 2020

The Power of Three Related to Negotiations, Leadership and Motivation

We have been taught from an early age to think in threes. ABC, 123, three little pigs, three blind mice, three musketeers, gold-silver-bronze etc.  When we go to the store if we have only have three items to pick up, we likely don’t need to write them down or bring a list, but with four or more we probably should. Regarding the rule of three this article wants to present three applications of the rule of three associated with negotiations, leadership and motivation.

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.

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