Thoughts and Insights by Michael Gregory

Negotiations

An entry to a circular maze
December 2nd, 2019

This is how to avoid conflicts in a family business around succession planning

It can seem like a maze when addressing conflicts in a family business. Running a business is hard and complex. Running a family business increases the potential for conflicts even more. Finally, when considering the next step around succession planning the stress level can really go up. That’s why many avoid the situation. With so many businesses in this situation this article focuses on common issues to consider when transferring a business to children. 

Two referees and three coaches body language interaction at a football game
September 16th, 2019

Understand how body language impacts a negotiation

The key elements of words, tone and body language (including facial expressions) have been commented in previous blogs on communication. Keep in mind no one is perfect on interpreting facial or body language, but there are steps you can take to address your own. There are also steps you can take to improve your interpretation and understanding of others. In the commentary that follows insights on body language and facial expressions in negotiations are explored. These can be critical in a negotiation.

Storm clouds gathering
September 9th, 2019

This is how to deal with difficult people and negotiations at work

There are times at work when you have to deal with difficult people and negotiations at the same time. Sometimes you have to deal with difficult situations and negotiations at the same time too. This commentary explores sources to provide you with tools you can use to prepare for and address these types of conflicts.

Man in suit sitting at desk looking at phone and texting
September 4th, 2019

What about texts in negotiations? What do you think?

You may think texts are for the young and new entries into the work force. You may think texts don’t belong in a work environment. On the other hand, you may think texting is perfectly normal. It is a way of life. It is a way to get to the point with another person quickly.

golf clubs set up at the practice range
August 19th, 2019

What questions should you ask when preparing for a valuation discussion with the IRS?

This article addresses how to prepare and what questions to ask when involved in a facilitation, negotiation or mediation with another party. The focus here is on a business valuation issue with the IRS.  Preparation is key. Conducting a mock interaction ahead of time can be extremely valuable. 

7 avatars of employees with diverse backgrounds
August 5th, 2019

Tailor made negotiations with employees

Every workplace has its own culture. Some involve greater or lessor degrees of negotiation between employer and employees. Employees tend to want to negotiate personal solutions. Examples are adjustments to schedule, travel, training, developmental assignments, and other similar areas.  These are individually or group based. In all instances these are issues important from the employee’s perspective.   How should these be handled?

A handshake with a hand coming out of a computer screen and shaking the hand of someone at their work desk.
July 26th, 2019

This is how to develop trust in a negotiation

How much should you trust the other party in a negotiation. If you trust to much chances are you may be burned. If you don’t trust enough chances are you may lose out on a great opportunity. The old adage trust, but verify makes sense. It is necessary to verify how much trust may be appropriate.

colorful with black background that has Ethics in green in the center
July 22nd, 2019

This is how to apply ethics in negotiations

Two sources with five and seven ethical principles for negotiations in business were explored to give you three simple ethics principles for negotiations. This article introduces information on each of the articles and provides you with a link to each for further analysis for the interested reader. Taking a lesson from neuroscience that we tend to remember up to three things well these principles are shortened to three for business ethics in negotiations. 

A street sign at the intersection of Impossible and Possible with a background blue sky with some white clouds
July 15th, 2019

Does Conflict Resolution Really Work at Work?

Whenever two people are involved with anything, it is only natural to expect that at some point there may be different perspectives that could lead to conflict. This is only natural. We often think if I could make all of the decisions, the world would be a better place. Then we reflect and realize I don’t have all the answers. We need others and we need their ideas. This article focuses on different types of conflict resolution at work.

Older couple smiling with each other sitting on a bench
July 1st, 2019

How to Avoid Conflict in Family Business Succession Planning

According to the Harvard Law Program on Negotiation there are three kinds of conflict in business and how to avoid them.  These are: Intercultural Conflict: Be Careful Not to Stereotype Conflict with Friends and Family: Discuss Difficult Issues Up Front Workplace Conflict: Test Your Assumptions and Choose a Role This article will focus on exiting family businesses addressing both the family and the workplace conflict issues. Keep in mind the exit planning may involve selling to the next generation, to another buyer, going public, an Employees Stock Option Plan, or something else. To keep it simple the scenario that follows assumes a transition to a next generation family member.  Keep in mind there are a host of other issues too. For example, are the existing owners going to remain working, be advisors, be on a real board of directors, be on an advisory board, have employment contracts, covenants not to compete and a host of other issues. These issues go beyond the scope of this commentary.

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