Thoughts and Insights by Michael Gregory

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.

Co-Create with colorful words inserted in the letters
November 4th, 2019

Here are three great ideas to promote effective collaboration

Would you like to work in a more collaborative environment? Studying improv, generations and various sources it appears the keys for collaboration are diversity, equality and focus. That is, it takes effort. The more we focus on these three items with an intention towards collaboration, the more likely we will be able to create an environment for effective collaboration. Let’s take a look at all three.

Two colorful hands shaking with various collaborative words such as cooperate and connect on their hands and arms
October 28th, 2019

These 9 tips lead to a successful partnership

There is no question that now is a very stressful time. At the same time the rate of change is as slow as it is ever going to be. Going forward the rate of change is growing at an exponentially rate. With that in mind how can you proactively partner with others given limited time in your day. Whether partnering in your firm, with clients, vendors or other stakeholders, this article provides you with 9 ingredients for you to consider for a successful partnership. This can be applied to actual partners in a firm, those that you need to partner with at work, home and in life. The same concerns apply in many areas of our busy lives. The question is whether we actually stop, pause and see where we are going. Here are some ideas for you to consider.

Five people fist bumping over their desks and lap tops
October 21st, 2019

Hear are neuroscience insights for partnering with crazy people

Would you like to know how to communicate with those that don’t what to hear you at all? Do you have those with whom you simply cannot communicate? Do you know others that just seem to be crazy? In previous articles a focus on listening has been emphasized. That works with most people. We need to actively listen. On the other hand, you cannot push a rope, you can only pull a rope. If someone does not want to work with you that’s their choice. Move on. Given all of this history, this article takes these issues to another level based on neuroscience. If you want to know how to work with those you really cannot stand, or you find really hard to work with, read on.

woman smiling with her hands lifted up and a smile on her face with about 25 words above her such as plan, team, ideas, goals etc.
October 14th, 2019

This is the critical first step towards collaboration and improvement

Often times leadership comes up with an idea, works the idea and then plans to implement the latest brainstorm. So why don’t employees simply buy into the idea completely and carry out the idea? They have seen this before. Not all ideas are great ideas. So how can the process be improved? Consider engaging employees in the process along the way. This is not necessary for every decision, but for major ones, this is critical.

Three figures standing and demonstrating emotion with each other having a discussion. Each of the three figures is highlighted with emotional words on the figure.
October 7th, 2019

This is how to overcome team conflict at work with three steps

When you think of conflict at work, what comes to mind? Wouldn’t it be great to have a relatively simple model to keep in mind that you could use with any situation? We tend to remember well when we focus on three items. With that in mind I am suggesting you take LEA with you when you have a conflict at work. LEA stands for Listen, Empathize and Act. When you carry out all three of these actions at work that can make a major difference to resolve conflicts.

Four big puzzle pieces coming together on a table held by 4 individuals
September 30th, 2019

This is how to reach out to those with whom you disagree

From previous blogs you know that The Collaboration Effect ® is all about connecting relationships, actively listening and educating judiciously to negotiate closure. This can work very well when applied to business, home or in life. But what about with individuals with whom we disagree? In this commentary the emphasis is on finding shared values and identities by focusing on the individual. This technique can even work with those with whom we disagree politically. That is a very powerful statement. Read on to learn more. However, remember you can only pull a rope. You cannot push a rope. If the other party is firm in their position and is not willing to interact with you, that is there position. Walk away. If someone truly does not want to interact with you accept this. That is their decision. On the other hand, if the other party is at least willing to interact with you, that indicates there is at least a spark of hope. The ideas presented here may just allow you to take that spark and potentially develop it into a better workable relationship.  

Woman with boxing glove hitting man in the face
September 22nd, 2019

This is how to address conflict at work

We all have conflict every day at work, at home and in life.  Did you ever stop to think that conflict stems from one of the three broad areas relating to task, relationship and values?  This article takes a look at all three and offers you some ideas to help.  There are other ways that can be used to classify conflict, but for the purposes of this article these three headings offer one way to explore the topic.

Two referees and three coaches body language interaction at a football game
September 16th, 2019

Understand how body language impacts a negotiation

The key elements of words, tone and body language (including facial expressions) have been commented in previous blogs on communication. Keep in mind no one is perfect on interpreting facial or body language, but there are steps you can take to address your own. There are also steps you can take to improve your interpretation and understanding of others. In the commentary that follows insights on body language and facial expressions in negotiations are explored. These can be critical in a negotiation.

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