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.

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 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.

December 5th, 2023
Light breaking through a dark cloudy sky

As a trusted leader, it's your responsibility to foster an environment where high-quality relationships thrive. Not only does your leadership foster a more pleasant workplace, it also contributes to increased productivity and job satisfaction. But often your job involves dealing with colleagues you don’t know well or may occasionally disagree with. Some of your colleagues may be in person and others may be virtual or hybrid. Here are 15 tips for educating and inspiring all of your colleagues to work better with one another, even when they have differences of opinion or limited interactions.

September 25th, 2023
Two parties addressing differences looking at each other with two computer screens in the background

At times conflicts can arise with customers or clients . As a mediation and conflict specialist I want to present you with  ideas on how to apply conflict analysis and resolution techniques to minimize negative impacts. To help with defining terms customers are people who pay for goods and services from companies or stores and clients are people who purchase professional services from a business or company to address a specific need or to solve a problem. When working with the public both require capabilities of how to address conflicts with customers and clients. This is the focus of the commentary that follows.

June 12th, 2023
a cracked brown egg shell missing a piece

When parties are in a serious conflict or a dispute the quickest way to address each other may be with a text or email. Perhaps pick up the phone and talk. Even better consider a virtual meeting. As a best alternative consider a face to face interaction. Mediation and conflict resolution using virtual means has been analyzed for some time. This article explores multiple sources and findings regarding virtual mediations and negotiations exploring pros and cons  along with best practices to make you more adept in this arena.

June 5th, 2023
Six hands in a circle each holding another person's wrist

Having been called upon to be a leadership keynote speaker I am always on the lookout for material to enhance my knowledge and share with others. Focusing on collaboration and both preventing negative conflict and promoting positive conflict management and conflict resolution using mediation and negotiation techniques I appreciated this article from Forbes. The article offers 15 ways to improve business partnership collaboration. In general, I find that most people including me can only remember about three things so the commentary that follows focuses on three of the areas, in particular with additional insights you may find helpful based on additional research.

April 17th, 2023
Four scientists in a lab all working together

Studies demonstrate that when scientific collaborators professionally challenge each other by asking questions and collaborate to expand on learning together to solve problems this can be very fruitful and positive. So, how do they do this and what can you learn from them? That is the focus of the commentary that follows

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 13th, 2023
Two parties coming together and shaking hands with a map of the world behind them

There are many benefits if parties facing a group decision reach an agreement via consensus rather than having an autocratic decision applied.  The decision tends to be accepted, the parties have bought into the decision, the decision is more likely to be carried out. If you are looking for longer lasting solutions with engaged participants, leading to less turmoil, greater stability, and less turnover, read on.

February 20th, 2023
A scattering of faces on a blue screen with more concentrated towards the center

What is collaboration versus communication?  Communication involves the sharing of ideas. Collaboration is more than communication. Collaboration involves parties working towards a common goal. If you would like to enhance your skills in this area and need to work with others to work towards a common goal, read on. The idea for this commentary came from a Forbes article entitled “4 tips for building a culture of collaboration within your business”.  This article begins with these four ideas and then I expand upon them to help you and add value going forward.

February 13th, 2023
Four hands coming together with a fist pump

When you think about negotiations, you may think about a lot of things, but have you thought about racism and what it costs? I am not talking simply about bias. I have blogged on Women and Salary Negotiations, Business Valuers, the IRS, and Conflict Resolution – Part 1 and Part 2, Why Emotions Matter in Negotiations, and Conflict and Dispute Resolution in Cross Cultural Negotiations. These and related posts all tie into the cognitive, conscious, and unconscious bias we all have. Have you ever thought how much racial bias is costing our society? It all has to do with the big lie.