Thoughts and Insights by Michael Gregory

 A grouping of words with the word TAXES in caps and red. All the words have something to do with taxes
June 22nd, 2020

Here are five good negotiating techniques to use with the IRS and others

When you are involved with a negotiation with the IRS or another party where it appears there may be significant differences of opinion, here are five good negotiating techniques to consider. Start off by determining your and their positions. What is your Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA), what do you think is their BATNA? Next consider offering the first alternative position known as an anchor to set the stage. Listen actively without judgment to understand where they are coming from. Reframe the negative to a neutral or even into a positive when possible. Finally, seek advice from those with experience in these matters. Beware those that should have the expertise, and focus on those that know what they are talking about.

two black silhouettes on the left and the right with the word negotiation in blue behind them
June 14th, 2020

Here are the three best tips to negotiate closure

Previously on this blog tips have been presented on how to negotiate closure, how to close a deal in a negotiation, and closing the deal – what is the impact on the next one. Reflecting on these blogs and considering that we can remember three things well, this blog priorities the three best tips to negotiate closure. In the end isn’t that what we want whether it be a sales deal, a business negotiation or an end to a conflict? My experience is, that is what the decision maker wants. In corporate America the VP’s may be only oriented towards their area of influence, but the C-Suite people want closure. That’s what business owners want too. So, what are these three best tips? Negotiate the process including benchmarks and deadlines Come up for air When needed bring in fresh faces

Young beautiful African American couple, happy and apparently in love
June 8th, 2020

Minnesota Nice, People of Color, Conflict Resolution, and Collaboration

After the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis Minnesotans are taking a good hard look at themselves. This is causing conflict at levels not seen here before at least in my time in Minnesota (since 1983). So, what does Minnesota nice, people of color, conflict resolution, and collaboration have to do with each other? Everything. Giving this some thought as a person that works on conflict resolution; diversity, equity and inclusion with the Minnesota State Bar Association with the board of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section; someone that has taught on this topic; and someone who conducts regular research on this topic, here are some thoughts and ideas as Minnesotans wrestles with these issues.

June 1st, 2020

Here is what you can learn from a COVID-19 doctor applied to BV negotiations with the IRS and other parties

Recently an emergency room doctor, Dr. Lorna M. Breen, working continuous 12 hour shifts in NYC committed suicide. This was very sad and points out the tremendous cost this is having on our medical and first responders. The Greater Good Science Center at the U of California at Berkeley responded with a neuroscience article on How Can Doctors Stop Burnout in a Pandemic? In the commentary that follows I take that article and apply the lessons learned here to communication in a hard negotiation. We can all learn from this tragedy. In the end taking time to build connections, listen actively, and educate judiciously are needed in business valuation too.

May 25th, 2020

This is how to get your productivity back on track

Here it is Memorial Day weekend. For most of us that gives us an extra day off. For many of us we are working from home and trying to balance life. This may include kids with school work, buying groceries, doing laundry, maintaining relationships, etc. etc. etc. With everything going on in our lives the question is are you a wonder woman or a super man? The answer is no. We are only human. We can only do so much. There are only so many hours in the day. We are never 100% productive. We all need down time. The question is how do we balance everything and remain sane? Understanding The Collaboration Effect®, associated with connecting relationships, actively listening and educating judiciously let’s explore what to do looking at ourselves instead of others.

Image of head with words such as promote, excuse, admire, evaluate, measure inside the head in multiple colors
May 18th, 2020

Here are three things great collaborators avoid

Have you ever worked for a great leader or manager? What did you like about the person? Have you ever worked for a poor leader or manager? What was it that he or she did that really gave you heartburn? Were they a micromanager? In your face? A poor listener? You can learn from great leaders and managers what to do and from poor managers and leaders what not to do. In practice what are the three biggest things to avoid as a great collaborator with others? These are: don’t be so critical, don’t worry so much about the future, and don’t make unrealistic expectations on yourself or others. Let’s take a look at each.

Person about to lift very heavy weights
May 11th, 2020

What do you do when times get tough? – according to neuroscience

We all know the phrase when the going gets tough the tough get going. We appreciate the idiom. But what about our psyche and the impact of all the negative news on a daily basis. What if your revenues are down? What if you are furloughed not knowing when you will be called back or worse yet, what if you are laid off and don’t have job to come back to? What if you lost a relative or close friend due to COVID-19 or for any other reason? Talk about stress. We know from neuroscience there are 12 resilience practices to help you that are broken down into five categories. These five categories are being offered to help you regardless of your situation. These come from the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California at Berkeley. I am offering these to you here with some additional insights to help you going forward.

Person walking up steps that been weathered
May 4th, 2020

What should you be doing with your business now during this pandemic and what’s next?

There are many articles out there on what to do in a crisis, during a pandemic, working from home etc., but thinking strategically and tactically, what should you be doing now and planning for in the future with your business? This article addresses these questions and offers you a personal example for your consideration. As a speaker, consultant, and author, I personally feel it, but as an entrepreneur and opportunist, with a strong resolve and resilience I am finding ways to reimagine myself and I want to help you to find ways and reimagine yourself in your business too.  This blog is little longer than normal, but I believe all of the information provided here will really help you in your business too.

Diverse group sitting in a circle negotiating with each other
April 27th, 2020

How can you avoid a turf battle when you are involved with a group negotiation?

In a group negotiation there are a host of interests that need to be addressed. Parties often distrust one another and they are very suspicious of the motives of the other group. This leads to distrust and negative perspectives. This article addresses how groups with differing perspectives can address these types of concerns to negotiate an amicable resolution even when turf battles are involved. Not that this is a panacea that always works, but these ideas work in many situations and should be considered with any difficult group negotiation.

team helping a team member over a high wall
April 20th, 2020

What are your biggest concerns around conflict resolution and collaboration?

If you follow this blog you have seen commentary on soft skills or what I refer to as the critical skills of today and the future given artificial intelligence as well as commentary on the IRS, valuation, negotiations, mediation and facilitation.  With all of us dealing with the “new normal” or eventually coming to the “new normal” I wanted to reach out to you and ask you, what are your concerns?  What do you want to know about? What are your greatest fears? What keeps you up at night? How can I help you? This is an invitation from me to you

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