Thoughts and Insights by Michael Gregory


Three figures arguing with various colorful on each image
May 15th, 2022

What does it mean to disagree well?

To encourage collaboration, healthy competition, and overcome conflicts and disputes one technique you can apply is to disagree well. You like many in our society today appreciate monologues that are provided to you by those with whom you agree to reaffirm positions, how smart you are, and how angry you should be with those that do not share that same perspective. The classic example in our society today has to do with reds and blues in our current political environment. Braver Angels offers an opportunity to overcome these differences with dialogue. This is one example of how to disagree well. The commentary that follows addresses the issue of what does it mean to disagree well.

A series of white doors with one gold door
May 1st, 2022

How amazing that our brain can adapt to address conflict and promote collaboration

You may believe that you cannot control your anger. You may believe that conflict and disputes are fixed in our brains. However, our brains are unique in that they are the only organ that has the ability to change and adapt. This is called neuroplasticity. Some interesting research has found how our brains can adapt even when up to half of the brain is missing. Now think about this from the perspective on how your brain can adapt and change when addressing conflict or a dispute.

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.

The word TEAM in large white letters on a white table with four white chairs, over a hardwood floor, with white walls in the background and a colorful picture on the wall of hands coming together
March 28th, 2022

Effective collaboration is a lot more than communication

To avoid conflict or disputes takes an active effort to promote communication and collaboration. Communication involves sharing information between participants. Collaboration takes this a step further. There is a goal and something to accomplish with collaboration. For effective collaboration leaders have to foster an environment to gather the right people, consider multiple viewpoints, keep your eye on the ball, and bring this team together for positive results.

Photo of Albert Eistein
March 20th, 2022

Uncovering bias in yourself and your organization for better results

Conflict, disputes, and miscommunications can result from both unconscious and conscious bias. We all have formed bias based on our experiences and understanding and based on our inexperience’s and misunderstanding. Unconscious bias plays a major role in our lives on how we see ourselves and others based on our cultural stereotypes and social identities. This article summarizes key points from an article from the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California at Berkley taken from a book, The End of Bias, by Jessica Nordell.  This article will summarize the root of bias, the consequences of prejudice, tips for reducing personal bias, and tips for reducing organizational bias.

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.

Harvard Business Review logo
March 6th, 2022

Collaboration, the Harvard Business Review, and a personal example

Conflict detracts from productivity. Sometimes mediation is necessary to overcome conflicts. When everything clicks with collaboration you enhance relationships, revenue, and results. A recent summary of seven books by the Harvard Business Review brings this to light. However, slogans like “work smarter not harder” are not the answer. This article takes the key lessons and gives you further insight based on a pesonal example to take collaboration to the next level for you and your organization.

The word Solution being seen in the rear view mirror
February 27th, 2022

Conflict resolution and process improvement

Mediation techniques reduce conflict and promote more effective negotiations. These types of techniques are extremely helpful, but conflicts can stem from both systemic and interpersonal concerns. This commentary explores both systemic and behavioral elements with ideas to help you going forward. Learn from the past and apply to the present.

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?

Light bulb being lifted out of a box by a hand "think outside the box"
February 13th, 2022

Think outside the box - collaborate by listening

Listening is a key skill for anyone that wants to advance their career, yet how much time do you spend trying to hone this skill? If you do not work on enhancing this skill you are missing a real opportunity. In areas where executives need to make important decisions, or if you are involved in negotiations this article is directly on point for you. The focus here is on being a better listener to help you hone this important skill and your collaboration skills with others. This is what leadership is all about.


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