Thoughts and Insights by Michael Gregory

Disputes

Image of head with words such as promote, excuse, admire, evaluate, measure inside the head in multiple colors
May 18th, 2020

Here are three things great collaborators avoid

Have you ever worked for a great leader or manager? What did you like about the person? Have you ever worked for a poor leader or manager? What was it that he or she did that really gave you heartburn? Were they a micromanager? In your face? A poor listener? You can learn from great leaders and managers what to do and from poor managers and leaders what not to do. In practice what are the three biggest things to avoid as a great collaborator with others? These are: don’t be so critical, don’t worry so much about the future, and don’t make unrealistic expectations on yourself or others. Let’s take a look at each.

Diverse group sitting in a circle negotiating with each other
April 27th, 2020

How can you avoid a turf battle when you are involved with a group negotiation?

In a group negotiation there are a host of interests that need to be addressed. Parties often distrust one another and they are very suspicious of the motives of the other group. This leads to distrust and negative perspectives. This article addresses how groups with differing perspectives can address these types of concerns to negotiate an amicable resolution even when turf battles are involved. Not that this is a panacea that always works, but these ideas work in many situations and should be considered with any difficult group negotiation.

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?

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.

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.

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. 

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