May 27th, 2024
A person using a pen to map their way through a puzzle

From the books The Servant Manager, Peaceful Resolutions, and The Collaboration Effect, here are six well-documented ideas for a successful negotiation. As a mediation and negotiation specialist, I wanted to share these with you.  Hopefully, they will help you, too.  These six ideas are:

  1. Identify core values/beliefs you have in common
  2. Be tough on the problem and gentle on the people
  3. Acknowledge your emotions and theirs without blame
  4. Treat others as they would like to be treated
  5. Positions polarize – interests integrate
  6. Acknowledge and appreciate areas of agreement – put a positive spin on your message
May 20th, 2024
Dart hitting a dart board in the center

As a mediation and negotiation specialist, I am here to empower you with knowledge, whether it's ahead of time or when things have broken down. The proactive approach to education can significantly reduce the severity and number of harmful conflicts.  Disagreements, different priorities, different points of view, miscommunications, and differing personalities are all reasons for conflict in the workplace.  The following discussion delves into the root cause, recognizing the tell-tale signs and practical steps to take when disputes arise.

May 14th, 2024
Scrabble words "plan"

As a mediation and negotiation specialist, I deal with conflicts daily. To handle these conflicts effectively, I must consistently maintain a calm, confident, and competent manner. This mental focus and preparation allow you to concentrate on critical issues and create value. However, besides mental focus, it is equally important to remain flexible and to use time to your advantage.

The following discussion delves into these three aspects and offers insights to enhance your performance in your next negotiation, especially when you're up against the other party.

April 22nd, 2024
background with three people and a red arrow indicating

As a negotiation and mediation specialist, I was struck by the article “How Much Does Personality in Negotiation Matter?” offered by the Harvard Program on Negotiation. Working with a challenging counterpart and a client who is agreeable to working things out, this article hit a nerve. I shared this article with my client, and we took a professional yet less agreeable approach to the negotiation. Read on about personalities in a negotiation and how this negotiation turned out. 

April 15th, 2024
Woman in white medical gown smiling at camera and several others behind her

What is a LEADER in contrast to a MANAGER?

  • In short, leaders influence others to accomplish a mission.
  • By comparison, managers coordinate tasks to achieve goals, focusing on processes, workflow, operations, and employees.

As a mediation and negotiation specialist focused on conflict resolution and collaboration, I work with leaders to enhance their and their teams' skills. I am offering five categories of action items to help you and the people around you develop your leadership skills.

April 8th, 2024
two people on opposite sides looking at a 6 or 9 depending on how you look at it

As a mediation and conflict resolution specialist and with my books The Collaboration Effect and Peaceful Resolutions, I recently conducted additional research on this topic.  Stepping back and looking at the big picture, I wanted to share with you what I see as the seven keys to avoiding and resolving conflict. These are authentic connecting relationships, listening actively, practicing empathy, avoiding blame, using “I” statements,  having clear boundaries, and taking a break. These are each elaborated on in this commentary.

March 18th, 2024
Toddler with boxing gloves looking at the camera

As a conflict specialist in negotiation and mediation, I want to share with you the three major types of conflict and how to address each. These are task conflict, relationship conflict, and value conflict. A recent Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation article focused on this topic. This article summarizes key points and expands on this topic to give you additional pointers that will help you in these areas. Each type requires targeted conflict resolution tactics. Let us look at each type separately.

March 11th, 2024
Empty conference room

As a negotiation and mediation specialist who researches, writes and speaks on collaboration, this commentary focuses on making collaboration more inclusive. A diverse workforce improves productivity. The question is, how can you promote inclusion and cooperation in the workplace with a diverse workforce? This commentary begins with an article from Forbes on inclusion and collaboration in the workforce and expands on that article with additional ideas to help you be more inclusive and productive in the future.

March 4th, 2024

As a mediator and conflict resolution specialist, working on some exciting and complex situations has been my pleasure. After one session between two boards of directors, the chairman of one of the boards complimented me by saying I am not a problem solver, but rather a solution provider.

I did not know what he meant by that comparison, so I asked him. He explained this to me. Given his comments and several years of reflection on the difference between problem solver and solution provider, along with the experience of many negotiations and mediations, I want to share some thoughts with you.

These thoughts are related to this topic and might help you when you find yourself in a conflict or negotiation. 

February 12th, 2024
A listening ear

As a conflict resolution and negotiation specialist I know how important listening is related to conflict resolution, alternative dispute resolution, and collaboration. In my book The Collaboration Effect I comment that the most important chapter is on listening. Seeing an emotionally charged commentary on listening from a friend of mine I wanted to share this with you and expand on this topic to help you. Dr. Jemaine Davis shares that coming from a gang-infested area he obtained his PhD, but his younger brother made some bad choices to survive. All his younger brother ever wanted was to have someone listen to him. Think of how powerful that statement is. I know everyone wants to be respected and listened to. Think about this with our very divided nation. What if regardless of the conflict we made a constructive attempt to listen to the other party?

January 22nd, 2024
Two goats butting heads

As a mediation and negotiation specialist that blogs weekly on issues related to conflict resolution and collaboration I want share with you what I see as a very well written concise commentary by Abraham Dameh on how to handle disagreements. His nine points of Listening actively, Empathy, Be Calm, Build Bridges, Collaborate, Neutral Language, Mediation, and Reflection on Lessons learned absolutely resonates with me. I took his 9 points and offer some additional thoughts that I think could help you too

January 15th, 2024
People having an open conversation at work

As leaders specializing in collaboration and conflict resolution, we focus today on making it safe for people to speak up at work. Fostering a culture of open communication is crucial for organizational success in today's dynamic and fast-paced work environment. The ability for employees to freely share their thoughts, concerns, and ideas can significantly enhance innovation, collaboration, and overall workplace satisfaction. Workplaces do face challenges, however, in establishing an atmosphere where individuals feel comfortable speaking up. The costs associated with an absence of open communication and the need for authenticity make it imperative to proactively build a culture that not only allows but encourages employees to share feedback honestly. Building on this article from the Greater Good Science Center from the University of California-Berkeley, I offer additional thoughts for your consideration.