Thoughts and Insights by Michael Gregory

Working with Difficult People

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.

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.

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.

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.

The word crazy in script hand writing written with a pencil and the pencil laying under the word
November 11th, 2019

Working with a crazy person - try self distancing

It has actually been found that speaking to yourself in the second or third person rather than the first person can change your emotional focus. Why is that important? When you find yourself starting to feel angry, this self-distracting technique can and actually will help you better regulate your emotions. This is a very powerful tool. The thing is to remember to do it. This is how. This three-step process can help you control your own temper and become known as the person that remains cool under pressure.  Both of these can help you with others, your career and at home.

Five people fist bumping over their desks and lap tops
October 21st, 2019

Hear are neuroscience insights for partnering with crazy people

Would you like to know how to communicate with those that don’t what to hear you at all? Do you have those with whom you simply cannot communicate? Do you know others that just seem to be crazy? In previous articles a focus on listening has been emphasized. That works with most people. We need to actively listen. On the other hand, you cannot push a rope, you can only pull a rope. If someone does not want to work with you that’s their choice. Move on. Given all of this history, this article takes these issues to another level based on neuroscience. If you want to know how to work with those you really cannot stand, or you find really hard to work with, read on.

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.

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