Thoughts and Insights by Michael Gregory

Working with Difficult People

Four people in a negotiation
July 25th, 2022

Does lying in collaborative business deals really pay off?

As a promoter of collaboration, a mediator, a conflict resolution specialist, and a person that teaches ethics and negotiations, I did not initially appreciate the title  of The Dark Side of Collaboration offered by Scientific America. However, the subtitle of  “People working together often scheme to put profits ahead of telling the truth. New research points out ways to stop this behavior” gave me hope. I found this article extremely helpful and enlightening. This commentary that follows shares some of the highlights of that article and offers some additional observations.

Puzzle pieces for a difficult puzzle
May 30th, 2022

Ten tips to overcome difficult conversations

Have you been in a conflict or dispute with someone else and felt you were 100% right and that they were 100% wrong? Did it ever occur to you that, just maybe you were not 100% right. The easy decisions in life are truly yes-no decisions. However, the more difficult decisions and controversies tend to have shades of gray associated with them. You may perceive the other party as being difficult and you may be trying to determine how to deal with difficult people. This commentary explores steps you can take when you are in a strong disagreement with someone else. Instead of digging in and reinforcing your position, explore these ten tips to overcome difficult conversations

Hand holding a deck of cards
May 8th, 2022

The games people play in negotiations and mediations and how to address them

To avoid conflicts and to help resolve disputes in a negotiation or a mediation it is important to know your Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA) and to consider the other party’s BATNA in order to work to resolve the situation. Before entering into the situation knowing that if your BATNA is not met you will simply walk away gives you room to exercise your own power. Knowing that you have tried your best to work with the other side, but what has been offered will not be acceptable so you need to move on This article explores how knowing your BATNA and what to consider can help you in a negotiation. It is important to understand why negotiations fail.

A fist punching through a glass hole
April 24th, 2022

Overcome anger in negotiations and mediations

When involved in a negotiation, mediation, a conflict, or a dispute a natural response is to become defensive, angry, and/or frustrated when things do not go well. A question arises as to how you can remain focused on the problem, remain calm, confident, and competent without letting anger take over. When you are angry you are not thinking as clearly, you may make poor decisions, and the ramifications may be extremely consequential. Knowing this, the commentary in this article addresses how to prevent anger from taking over, and how to overcome anger should it surface in a negotiation or a mediation.

a scissors cutting the word impossible into two sections with "im" and "possible"
April 18th, 2022

Ten questions to mediate a dispute

On April 12, 2022 it was my pleasure to see and hear a virtual presentation by Dr Ken Cloke on the Future of Mediation:  Imagining a Conflict Resolution at the Mitchel Hamline School of Law sponsored by the Minnesota State Bar Association Alternative Dispute Resolution Section where I serve on the board. Based on his commentary and reflecting on my notes,  I am sharing some insights I took away from his program that I am offering to you from my perspectives. He gave me permission to share with you his “12 Questions for Anyone in Conflict.” These are focused on students, but these can be applicable in other situations too. Feel free to share these with others.

Green peas in a pod with one red pea
April 11th, 2022

Five great articles summarized on the latest neuroscience insights on bridging differences

Addressing conflicts, disputes, and mediation here are five articles with great insights to help you bridging differences with others. Below are links to these five articles that I found insightful and helpful from the neuroscientists at  Greater Good Science Center at the University of California at Berkeley. I thought you may enjoy one or more of these too. All five articles provide different insights. Take a look at the commentary and decide which ones may be of interest to you.

Man looking down with hand on his forehead looking very distraught
March 14th, 2022

How to respond to clients in crisis

Have you ever had a potential client or client contact you upset? Someone may have referred them, simply found you on the internet, or they are one of your long term clients. It really does not matter. What matters is that they are currently concerned about something, need help, and have reached out to you in the hope that you can help them. So, what skills do you need? You need to listen,  de-escalate the situation, network with the experts you know that could help, and help them through this crisis. Here are some thoughts to help you.

Two parties with arms crossed facing towards camera
February 22nd, 2022

Educating the other party the way they want to be educated in a conflict

The Collaboration Effect© is all about connecting relationships, listening actively, and educating judiciously to build relationships and negotiate closure. Previous commentary on connecting relationships and listening actively lead us to today’s commentary on educating judiciously. That is the focus of this commentary. How can you educate someone else the way they want to be educated when conflict is involved?

Four individuals online on one screen being able to see each other live
January 24th, 2022

This is why you want to try online or virtual mediation

Very simply mediation is a process whereby a third party assists the parties to develop a resolution that both parties can agree upon. The mediator is a trained neutral in contention. The mediator helps the parties expand their horizons from looking at the problem with a narrow focus and instead helps the parties look at the issues more broadly. This helps the parties develop a solution that both parties either like or can live with going forward. Advantages have been found with virtual mediation over face-to-face mediations. This article explores the advantages of using online or virtual mediation.

Black board showing complex geometry
December 27th, 2021

Insights for providing solutions to complex problems

What is a solution provider versus a problem solver? A problem solver addresses a specific problem or issue. A solution provider asks a lot more questions to get to the root cause and may uncover several other problems on the way to providing a solution that is much broader in scope than first intended. The solution provider works to address the initial problem, but typically adds more value by helping find solutions beyond the initial scope of the assignment.

Pages

Subscribe to Blog