May 22nd, 2023
A sign with desire pointing right and avoid pointing left with blue sky and clouds in the background

How many times might you see something, want to say something, don’t and move on to avoid potential conflict. Let’s dig a litter deeper and look at conflict, conflict resolution at work, and conflict analysis and resolution in terms of conflict avoidance. With small things this may be fine. You have to decide when and where to act. However, there are times when there may be conflict in the work place and simply avoiding the problem can make the situation worse. It is not going to correct itself on its own. So, the question is how can you move beyond interpersonal conflict avoidance and work constructively to address a conflict at work that really needs to be addressed? This article from the Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation is summarized below and contains additional commentary for your consideration.

May 8th, 2023

That was the essence of a question asked at the Minnesota State Bar Association Alternative Dispute Resolution Section presentation on April 11, 2023 with about 60 attendees on zoom. Mediation and conflict resolution as well as mediation and negotiation need to be concerned about perceptions and reality. The topic from the session was on White Supremacy, Racism, and Mediation with distinguished commentary from Sharon Press, Ellen Deason, and Isablee Gunning. I may not have captured everything correctly that I am presenting here, but these are major take aways from my perspective and some practical applications that I am going to test in the future.

May 1st, 2023

Conflict, negotiations,  mediation, conflict resolution, and conflict management can all be  emotionally charged. The emotions can detract and cause the process to be sidetracked. It is important to understand the barriers that can derail the process. Frustration, anxiety, fear can be normal reactions when bargaining with others. You need to understand the forces within yourself, your relationship with others, and external forces that may be impacting you or the other party. This article looks at each.

April 10th, 2023
Man with his mouth open amazed at what he is seeing

Have you been in a negotiation and felt a trigger impact you and begin to raise tension in your body? Would you like to know how to move from this emotionally charged moment to a greater focus leading to a mutually beneficial agreement?  Read on. We are all emotionally charged beings. We need this for survival. However, our brain cannot differentiate between something that is genuinely going to kill us and when something is very negative and may lead to an outcome we prefer did not materialize. When we “flood” with emotions this can derail the negotiation and even make a negotiation impossible at that moment.

March 27th, 2023
Two shaking hands with the word partners underneath drawn on a blackboard

Would you like to have better collaboration at work. Consider identifying where others are coming from. Really listen to them. What is going on in their lives at work, home, and life?  What are their biggest concerns? Next how do you appreciate them?  There are a host of ways for you to inspire, promote trust and appreciate others. Finally, how can you collaborate and affiliate with them on common goals, shared values, and common interests.  All of these can help you have better collaboration with others. Read on to learn more.

March 21st, 2023
Outlines of three faces facing each other

I have recently learned that providing three ideas on a topic and approaching the topic from three different angles is an optimum way to share information and for others to optimally take away key points.  With that in mind I am offering you three models related to conflict resolution. Hopefully one of these will help you when you are in conflict with someone else.  Read about all three and then pick out what works best for you. Try it. Practice it. See if this might work for you. If not try another alternative. Do what works for you.

March 6th, 2023
A woman and man arguing with each other

When you argue with someone else what would you like to have happen?  Do you argue to win? Do you argue to try and convince the other party that your view is right and theirs is wrong? What do you want to have happen as a result of this argument?  All too often these questions might be how you initiate an argument thinking you are 100% right and the other party is 100% wrong. The question is how successful is it for you to try and win the argument? Did you really convince the other person you were right, and they were wrong, or if you have the power, did you simply bully them into acceptance? Would you like to know a better way?  Read on.

February 27th, 2023
A spiderweb in nature

You are an ethical person. You have expectations that the other person is ethical too. However, common biases can lead you astray even with out you being conscious of your actions.  For example you may negotiate with someone in good faith on a matter of mutual interest, but not having addressed an issue, your thoughts and theirs may be very different with respect to other actions.  Often the emphasis is on a narrow area without having considered other ramifications that may have negative impacts.  If they are minor, they may not matter. If the are major you may want to ensure a wider perspective.

January 30th, 2023
Words representing various attitudes

As an experienced mediator and negotiator, I have asked myself this question. Researching it further I wanted to share with you what I have learned. Other experts in the field have offered advice too. Attitudes drive behaviors. There seems to be a consensus that yes, mental attitudes play a critical role in determining whether a mediation or a negotiation is successful. A deeper dive into the process is presented to help you and for you to help others that may be involved with self-determining mediations or negotiations.

January 22nd, 2023
A large group of people with various cartoon faces

Researchers at the Harvard Law School Program on Negotiations presented an article on Individual Differences in Negotiation – and How They Affect Results.  This article shares with you highlights from that article and offers additional insights to help you with your own negotiations. As presented in a blog on December 19, 2022 entitled, Conflict and dispute resolution in cross cultural negotiations, differences between nations, regions, geography, culture, profession, and class are areas to be sensitive to in negotiations. Research at the University of Washington found that individual personality differences accounted for 49% of variance in negotiators’ performance and satisfaction. This was a major finding. That study looked at personality differences; cognitive, emotional, and creativity differences; and motivational differences. This article introduces these concepts and goes a bit deeper.

January 9th, 2023
Photograph of lady justice statue

Having taught ethics to CPA societies and in other venues I make use of my own texts and also those of Linda Fisher Thornton with her book, 7 Lenses: Learning the Principles and Practices of Ethical Leadership.  This commentary makes use of these sources and an article from the Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation written by Katie Shonk entitled Ethics in Negotiation: Avoid Complicity in Wrongdoing. In negotiations this implies not committing illegal and immoral acts, but also calling out unethical behavior of others. Shonk’s article highlights Max Bazerman’s book, Complicit: How We Enable the Unethical and How to Stop. You only have one reputation. You need to protect that all costs. So, what do you do? Read on.

December 19th, 2022
Several open colorful umbrellas from the top view

When negotiating with cross-cultural differences how should you proceed with negotiations? These types of negotiations can be particularly challenging. There is  a lot of room for making errors that are unforeseen.  Personally, whether a negotiation or in a mediation, I prefer to bring on board additional expertise. That is someone that can relate much better to the situation and someone that has the expertise to see things that I may never pick up on given my own experiences and internal biases.  For example, in mediation, often a co-mediator of the opposite sex and the other culture depending on the culture makes a huge difference from my own experiences.