Thoughts and Insights by Michael Gregory

Conflict Resolution

blue fist thumbs up me and red fist thumbs down them
July 6th, 2020

Here is what to do when you're right and they are wrong

Some situations are clear. Sometimes there is no doubt someone else is in the wrong. They may not even realize they are in the wrong, but they are. When that happens what should you do?  This article addresses a personal situation and then points out how the same approach can be played out at work.  For example, you’re in line for a check out and someone cuts in front of an elderly person to move ahead in line at the grocery story. What do you do?  Some are more assertive and speak up. Others would be intimidated by this and say nothing. What might you do?

 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.

May 25th, 2020

This is how to get your productivity back on track

Here it is Memorial Day weekend. For most of us that gives us an extra day off. For many of us we are working from home and trying to balance life. This may include kids with school work, buying groceries, doing laundry, maintaining relationships, etc. etc. etc. With everything going on in our lives the question is are you a wonder woman or a super man? The answer is no. We are only human. We can only do so much. There are only so many hours in the day. We are never 100% productive. We all need down time. The question is how do we balance everything and remain sane? Understanding The Collaboration Effect®, associated with connecting relationships, actively listening and educating judiciously let’s explore what to do looking at ourselves instead of others.

team helping a team member over a high wall
April 20th, 2020

What are your biggest concerns around conflict resolution and collaboration?

If you follow this blog you have seen commentary on soft skills or what I refer to as the critical skills of today and the future given artificial intelligence as well as commentary on the IRS, valuation, negotiations, mediation and facilitation.  With all of us dealing with the “new normal” or eventually coming to the “new normal” I wanted to reach out to you and ask you, what are your concerns?  What do you want to know about? What are your greatest fears? What keeps you up at night? How can I help you? This is an invitation from me to you

April 6th, 2020

When a deal breaks down with the IRS what should you do?

When a deal looks like it is lost, the perspective of both sides is to simply dig and go to the next level whatever that may be. If working with the IRS on the examination of a tax return both sides can agree to disagree. The IRS exam team finalizes the proposed adjustment and gives it to the taxpayer. The taxpayer responds with a 30-day letter. The IRS exam team writes up a response to the taxpayer’s 30-day letter response and the case is shipped off to IRS Appeals. Is there a better way?

A house with an insert of a woman working from home looking at her computer screen
March 30th, 2020

How do you strengthen ties with teams working from home?

With many people transitioning from the office to home or from infrequently in the office to permanently in the home, what are some ways to ensure collaborating, connecting, and networking with each other? Here are some ideas to help you. These are simply some initial ideas. You will need to tailor these to your own circumstances. Hopefully these thoughts may encourage you to develop your own ideas too. If you have other ideas too, I would welcome you to share those with me.

Covid-19 in white letters with red background in front of two shaking hands
March 14th, 2020

Negotiation, mediation and facilitation during a pandemic

We are in an interesting time. Never have we seen a pandemic like this before in our lives. What if you are currently involved with a negotiation, a mediation or a facilitation at this time? What are things to think about? What should you do? This abbreviated blog provides with some rational ideas on how to proceed.

Two drama masks of happy and sad with words imprinted on the masks
March 10th, 2020

Three signs your workplace culture is hurting you, and what you can do about it

When everyone is aligned and on the same page that feels great emotionally, mentally and physically. Is that the case with you and your organization? If it is great. This article may not be for you. If not read on. Here are three signs that that there may be issues and three ideas of what you might want to do as a result.

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