Thoughts and Insights by Michael Gregory

Disputes

two caricatures with one lifting a sign stating "ethics" on one end and the other with his had on the sign on the other end
July 14th, 2020

This is how to remain ethical with hard bargainers

With the advent of artificial intelligence ethics is taking on additional importance. The Harvard Program on Negotiation identifies five principles for consideration. Linda Fisher in her book, 7 lenses, Learning Principles and Practices of Ethical Leadership offers seven lenses of ethical responsibility. A question is how can these principles and ethical responsibilities be applied to negotiations? When working with principled negotiators the ethical principles and ethical responsibilities seem to be very practical. What about when needing to address hard bargainers that don’t seem to have principles and ethical responsibilities?

 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.

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.

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