Thoughts and Insights by Michael Gregory

Enhancing Effectiveness

Three signs pointing in opposite directions secure-unsafe, valued-useless, included-outcast
August 8th, 2022

What should you do when you don’t feel good enough?

One of the reasons that you may be in conflict with others leading to disputes may have to do with your view of self. In his new book, The Extraordinary Gift of Being Ordinary, Dr. Ronald Siegel of the Harvard Medical School, shares that everyone has doubts about themselves and so does he. You have continual self-evaluative thoughts. This is normal. However, rather than proving yourself he offers ideas and tips to address “not feeling good enough” and how you can build a better self. This ties into the Yale University course on happiness too. These ideas are introduced in this article.

Four people in a negotiation
July 25th, 2022

Does lying in collaborative business deals really pay off?

As a promoter of collaboration, a mediator, a conflict resolution specialist, and a person that teaches ethics and negotiations, I did not initially appreciate the title  of The Dark Side of Collaboration offered by Scientific America. However, the subtitle of  “People working together often scheme to put profits ahead of telling the truth. New research points out ways to stop this behavior” gave me hope. I found this article extremely helpful and enlightening. This commentary that follows shares some of the highlights of that article and offers some additional observations.

Hammer coming down on a nail with statement "I'm the boss"
July 4th, 2022

Should you lead with compassion, toughness, or empathy –why does this matter?

To avoid negative conflict and disputes and to promote collaboration, alignment, and purpose it is important to lead with compassion, have appropriate toughness, and listen with empathy. As a leader all of these matter. When someone is not performing well how should you proceed? Frustration is often a first response. I am sure you can relate. Especially if it reflects negatively on you. Responding with negative reinforcement is an initial knee jerk reaction, but research shows that when confronted with an underperforming employee that compassion and curiosity with suspended judgment works better. With appropriate coaching  to the individual, you may have far better results. Compassion and empathy build trust. You want greater trust to promote improvement.

holograms of five different people in various colors
June 13th, 2022

How to address employee conflict and reduce turnover

Everyone likes to work for a kind, considerate, caring, professional supervisor and on a team where everyone is valued and aligned towards a common goal. Everyone looks out for one another and the overall goals of the firm. However, when negative employee conflict or disputes arise, and they are not addressed in a timely and in an appropriate manner this can cause a host of problems including lower productivity, lower morale, increased costs, and employee turnover. The question arises with what can you do to reduce and address employee conflict and reduce employee turnover? That is the focus of this article.

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.

Green peas in a pod with one red pea
April 11th, 2022

Five great articles summarized on the latest neuroscience insights on bridging differences

Addressing conflicts, disputes, and mediation here are five articles with great insights to help you bridging differences with others. Below are links to these five articles that I found insightful and helpful from the neuroscientists at  Greater Good Science Center at the University of California at Berkeley. I thought you may enjoy one or more of these too. All five articles provide different insights. Take a look at the commentary and decide which ones may be of interest to you.

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.

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