Thoughts and Insights by Michael Gregory

Conflict Resolution

IRS symbol with IRS - blue background and white symbol and lettering
August 3rd, 2020

IRS, Business Valuers, Adjustments and Preventative Approaches

On July 1, 2020 it was my pleasure to be interviewed by Melissa Gragg, CVA, MAFF, CDFA and Managing Partner at Bridge Valuation Partners, LLC. This 84 minute podcast is packed many ideas of how to avoid and what to do if audited by the IRS on an estate or gift tax return. For business valuers this commentary focuses on the most common adjustments by IRS Business Valuers and what you might want to consider to both avoid an audit and what to do if audited. What does this have to do with The Collaboration Effect® you may ask. Read on. Clearly not everything in that podcast can be presented here, but some of the key highlights can be. The purpose of this commentary is to focus on one of the questions from that podcast. That is: What are the most common adjustments by IRS Business Valuers.

Symbol for the IRS with the letters IRS underneath
July 27th, 2020

IRS, The Collaboration Effect® and Estate and Gift Tax Audits- What do they have in common?

On July 14, 2020 it was my pleasure to be interviewed by Melissa Gragg, CVA, MAFF, CDFA and Manag

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?

blue fist thumbs up me and red fist thumbs down them
July 6th, 2020

Here is what to do when you're right and they are wrong

Some situations are clear. Sometimes there is no doubt someone else is in the wrong. They may not even realize they are in the wrong, but they are. When that happens what should you do?  This article addresses a personal situation and then points out how the same approach can be played out at work.  For example, you’re in line for a check out and someone cuts in front of an elderly person to move ahead in line at the grocery story. What do you do?  Some are more assertive and speak up. Others would be intimidated by this and say nothing. What might you do?

 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.

May 25th, 2020

This is how to get your productivity back on track

Here it is Memorial Day weekend. For most of us that gives us an extra day off. For many of us we are working from home and trying to balance life. This may include kids with school work, buying groceries, doing laundry, maintaining relationships, etc. etc. etc. With everything going on in our lives the question is are you a wonder woman or a super man? The answer is no. We are only human. We can only do so much. There are only so many hours in the day. We are never 100% productive. We all need down time. The question is how do we balance everything and remain sane? Understanding The Collaboration Effect®, associated with connecting relationships, actively listening and educating judiciously let’s explore what to do looking at ourselves instead of others.

team helping a team member over a high wall
April 20th, 2020

What are your biggest concerns around conflict resolution and collaboration?

If you follow this blog you have seen commentary on soft skills or what I refer to as the critical skills of today and the future given artificial intelligence as well as commentary on the IRS, valuation, negotiations, mediation and facilitation.  With all of us dealing with the “new normal” or eventually coming to the “new normal” I wanted to reach out to you and ask you, what are your concerns?  What do you want to know about? What are your greatest fears? What keeps you up at night? How can I help you? This is an invitation from me to you

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?

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