Thoughts and Insights by Michael Gregory

Working with Difficult People

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.

Storm clouds gathering
September 9th, 2019

This is how to deal with difficult people and negotiations at work

There are times at work when you have to deal with difficult people and negotiations at the same time. Sometimes you have to deal with difficult situations and negotiations at the same time too. This commentary explores sources to provide you with tools you can use to prepare for and address these types of conflicts.

Man in suit sitting at desk looking at phone and texting
September 4th, 2019

What about texts in negotiations? What do you think?

You may think texts are for the young and new entries into the work force. You may think texts don’t belong in a work environment. On the other hand, you may think texting is perfectly normal. It is a way of life. It is a way to get to the point with another person quickly.

golf clubs set up at the practice range
August 19th, 2019

What questions should you ask when preparing for a valuation discussion with the IRS?

This article addresses how to prepare and what questions to ask when involved in a facilitation, negotiation or mediation with another party. The focus here is on a business valuation issue with the IRS.  Preparation is key. Conducting a mock interaction ahead of time can be extremely valuable. 

A street sign at the intersection of Impossible and Possible with a background blue sky with some white clouds
July 15th, 2019

Does Conflict Resolution Really Work at Work?

Whenever two people are involved with anything, it is only natural to expect that at some point there may be different perspectives that could lead to conflict. This is only natural. We often think if I could make all of the decisions, the world would be a better place. Then we reflect and realize I don’t have all the answers. We need others and we need their ideas. This article focuses on different types of conflict resolution at work.

Older couple smiling with each other sitting on a bench
July 1st, 2019

How to Avoid Conflict in Family Business Succession Planning

According to the Harvard Law Program on Negotiation there are three kinds of conflict in business and how to avoid them.  These are: Intercultural Conflict: Be Careful Not to Stereotype Conflict with Friends and Family: Discuss Difficult Issues Up Front Workplace Conflict: Test Your Assumptions and Choose a Role This article will focus on exiting family businesses addressing both the family and the workplace conflict issues. Keep in mind the exit planning may involve selling to the next generation, to another buyer, going public, an Employees Stock Option Plan, or something else. To keep it simple the scenario that follows assumes a transition to a next generation family member.  Keep in mind there are a host of other issues too. For example, are the existing owners going to remain working, be advisors, be on a real board of directors, be on an advisory board, have employment contracts, covenants not to compete and a host of other issues. These issues go beyond the scope of this commentary.

Woman with finger to mouth signalling quiet
June 4th, 2019

Want to be an outstanding communicator? Close your mouth.

It sounds to easy, but really the best communicators know when to keep their mouths shut and really listen. Rather than trying to promote themselves, an idea or a position, they focus on truly trying to understand. Sometimes we simply need to be heard. Often times that is the best solution to simply listen to the other party and help them to sort out their solution.

Two silhouettes in front of a legal balance having a discussion
May 21st, 2019

The who, what, when, where, why and how of negotiations

Have you ever thought about the tactics from beginning to end that are involved with a negotiation? This article starts with the very beginning in mind to set you up for success and then explores value added techniques, how to influence the outcome and how to protect yourself during a negotiation.

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