Thoughts and Insights by Michael Gregory

Neuroscience Insights

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.

The word fear with a red cross and circle crossing out the word.
February 17th, 2020

Which conflict style works best with an IRS auditor and why?

Many articles have been written regarding the five conflict management styles we use every day. Similarly, much has been written about generational differences. This article explores these five conflict management styles, considers generational differences, and overall workforce dynamics when working with the IRS. IRS auditors have a job to do on exam. They fit into three broad categories. Knowing all of this information consider what might work best when working with an individual at the IRS on an examination.

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.

Two bowels of fruit in heart shaped containers
January 13th, 2020

This is how to manage stress for attorneys, accountants, appraisers and business owners

Working with attorneys, accountants, appraisers and business owners I see a lot stress and issues associated with balancing work and life. Recently I received a nice article from the AICPA on ways CPAs can manage their stress.  Between that article, chapter 8 from The Servant Manager on “How to Find Work-life Balance” and some additional research I wanted to share some current thinking on the topic to help you. These may not all be right for you, but you may appreciate and be able to implement those that would work for you and potentially with you and your team. Keep in mind not all stress is bad. From the AICPA their four major points that all make sense to me are: get regular exercise, develop good sleep habits, embrace a healthy diet, and practice mindfulness. Reading several additional sources I elaborated on their ideas and added a fifth and that is practice empathy. Read on to learn more.

Looking past a tree trunk down a path and to a lake
December 16th, 2019

Here are the best books for a better life in 2020

As a researcher, writer and speaker that focus on collaboration and overcoming conflict one of the sources that I receive content from is The Greater Good Science Center at the University of California at Berkeley. As experts in neuroscience with a recommended reading list of 10 books to provide “thought-provoking, practical and inspirational science” I wanted to share these and another book with you too

two puppies. One with a small basket handle in his mouth. In the basket are various Thanksgiving goodies and kitten just in front of the basket
November 25th, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving: The Healing Powers of Gratitude

Happy Thanksgiving!  

A ying and yang that are black and white figures forming a circle with heads butting up against each other and key words in the back ground such as Bias and Opportunity
November 18th, 2019

Bias awareness can significantly enhance collaboration

This past week I was fortunate to hear Sybil L. Dunlop speak on Implicit Bias at the Minnesota State Bar Association Alternative Dispute Resolution Section. She gave an excellent presentation and gave us a lot to think about. Doing some more research around this topic I wanted to share some of what I learned from her and additional research that I found helpful. Awareness is key.

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.

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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