Thoughts and Insights by Michael Gregory

Covid-19 in white letters with red background in front of two shaking hands
March 14th, 2020

Negotiation, mediation and facilitation during a pandemic

We are in an interesting time. Never have we seen a pandemic like this before in our lives. What if you are currently involved with a negotiation, a mediation or a facilitation at this time? What are things to think about? What should you do? This abbreviated blog provides with some rational ideas on how to proceed.

Two drama masks of happy and sad with words imprinted on the masks
March 10th, 2020

Three signs your workplace culture is hurting you, and what you can do about it

When everyone is aligned and on the same page that feels great emotionally, mentally and physically. Is that the case with you and your organization? If it is great. This article may not be for you. If not read on. Here are three signs that that there may be issues and three ideas of what you might want to do as a result.

A man on the left. A woman on the right. A big light bulb in between with a tree growing inside and crows flying away.
February 29th, 2020

Collaboration, Negotiations, Goals and Ethics as a Manager

Managers try to set goals for their employees that are developed with the best of intentions, but the real world is fraught with many examples where these have turned disastrous. This article focuses on how to work with employees to mutually set goals, consider negative ramifications and take actions that include ethical considerations to really achieve the desired results. When this is unclear, this can lead to unexpected and negative results.

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.

A group of people informally sitting around a table having a discussion
January 31st, 2020

This is how to encourage constructive conflict while collaborating

Constructive dissent if managed well can be very beneficial in finding a resolution to a conflict. The key is to encourage constructive dissent leading towards a collaborative process. Too much dissent is not healthy. It can become negative. Not enough dissent and good ideas will never rise to the surface. This article looks at how to promote the right amount of constructive dissent to have team members promote effective collaboration.

The word "We" with various quotes included in the "We" word
January 25th, 2020

What can we learn from famous quotes about collaboration?

Some very famous and well-known people have been quoted about teamwork and collaboration. We know what collaboration is. It is simply the action of working with someone else to produce or create something. It is that easy. However, it is more than cooperation. Cooperation is simply working together. Collaboration something more. It requires participants to work together for a common goal. So, what can we do to further enhance collaboration with others and others with us? Looking at some famous quotes here are some lessons that we can we learn from and apply at work, at home and in life.

A hand holding up three fingers
January 20th, 2020

The Power of Three Related to Negotiations, Leadership and Motivation

We have been taught from an early age to think in threes. ABC, 123, three little pigs, three blind mice, three musketeers, gold-silver-bronze etc.  When we go to the store if we have only have three items to pick up, we likely don’t need to write them down or bring a list, but with four or more we probably should. Regarding the rule of three this article wants to present three applications of the rule of three associated with negotiations, leadership and motivation.

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.

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