Thoughts and Insights by Michael Gregory

Enhancing Effectiveness

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.

Co-Create with colorful words inserted in the letters
November 4th, 2019

Here are three great ideas to promote effective collaboration

Would you like to work in a more collaborative environment? Studying improv, generations and various sources it appears the keys for collaboration are diversity, equality and focus. That is, it takes effort. The more we focus on these three items with an intention towards collaboration, the more likely we will be able to create an environment for effective collaboration. Let’s take a look at all three.

Two colorful hands shaking with various collaborative words such as cooperate and connect on their hands and arms
October 28th, 2019

These 9 tips lead to a successful partnership

There is no question that now is a very stressful time. At the same time the rate of change is as slow as it is ever going to be. Going forward the rate of change is growing at an exponentially rate. With that in mind how can you proactively partner with others given limited time in your day. Whether partnering in your firm, with clients, vendors or other stakeholders, this article provides you with 9 ingredients for you to consider for a successful partnership. This can be applied to actual partners in a firm, those that you need to partner with at work, home and in life. The same concerns apply in many areas of our busy lives. The question is whether we actually stop, pause and see where we are going. Here are some ideas for you to consider.

woman smiling with her hands lifted up and a smile on her face with about 25 words above her such as plan, team, ideas, goals etc.
October 14th, 2019

This is the critical first step towards collaboration and improvement

Often times leadership comes up with an idea, works the idea and then plans to implement the latest brainstorm. So why don’t employees simply buy into the idea completely and carry out the idea? They have seen this before. Not all ideas are great ideas. So how can the process be improved? Consider engaging employees in the process along the way. This is not necessary for every decision, but for major ones, this is critical.

A wooden door with a sign on it that states "OPEN - Time for Change"
August 13th, 2019

Here are practical ideas on leading your team through change

Here are some best practices that I wanted to share with you. These are provided so that you can use them to help manage change where you work. This is an overview. You have to realize that you have to address emotions. That is yours and your team’s.

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?

Baby touching a key board and looking back at us
July 6th, 2019

Move out of your comfort zone to move into the learning zone with a new job

Thomas Edison stated, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”.  Most of us don’t have that kind of patience. On the other hand, what risks are you willing to take? Do you trust yourself to accept change or failure and move on?  Do you see change or failure as a learning tool to help you expand your horizons, or something that holds you back?  Let’s address these items to help you move out of your comfort zone and move into the learning zone. This article will focus on learning to find a better employer and/or boss going forward unless you are there already.  One of my mantras to my employees was to begin to prepare for your next job now. That’s because it probably does not even exist yet today, but it will within the next five years.

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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