Leadership Skills and Best Practices

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Accommodating Incongruence

Posted 7:18 PM by
The problems confronting leadership in our society today, the failure of nerve and the desire for a quick fix, are not the result of overly strong self, but of weak or no self… Well-developed self in a leader—self-differentiation—is not only critical to effective leadership, it is the leadership characteristic that is most likely to promote the kind of community that preserves the self of its members.” Edwin Friedman, A Failure of Nerve These words of Edwin Friedman are prescient and disturbing. It is impossible to ignore the kind of leadership being displayed daily by the man... Read more →
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Negotiation Lesson #9: Explicitly Raise and Address the Issue of Trust

Posted 1:23 PM by
Trust is critical but not essential in negotiations. During the cold war we negotiated with the Russians all the time, but we didn’t trust them.  However, when there is trust between and among the parties to a negotiation, the sky’s the limit in terms of achieving creative, flexible, efficient effective, optimal agreements. This level of trust is built over time. When trust is absent, and both sides enter negotiations with their defenses up, agreement is possible, but it will take longer to reach an agreement and it is likely to be a sub-optimal agreement.  One would think... Read more →
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Is Negotiation A Tool For Bridging our Current Partisan Political Divide?

Posted 6:36 PM by
I’m departing from my “Negotiation Lessons,” series this month to comment on the state of our political negotiation process. I’ll return to the regular format next month.  If you’ve staked your reputation on doing everything you can to stop the other party, is it possible to negotiate any agreement about anything?  Can the Freedom Caucus ever agree with the more moderate wing of the Republican Party, let alone the Progressive Democrats in Congress?  Can these very divided, partisan groups ever hope to negotiate any type of agreement about anything, even if negotiating an agreement is good for... Read more →
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Empathy Not Apathy: Choosing to Lead Change

Posted 4:00 PM by
There are very few people who are paying attention to the current political climate who aren’t also alarmed by the number of personal attacks, vicious verbal assaults, falsehoods, vindictiveness, and escalating hostility in our public discourse from too many leaders. The man who occupies the highest political office in the land is a prime example of the decline in respect for those with whom you are in disagreement. Another recent example of someone with no filter is a Representative from Iowa who eagerly shares his racist rants, mistruths and affinity with a belief in white supremacy. The problem is... Read more →
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Negotiation Lesson #8: Utilizing the Media in Negotiations

Posted 4:42 PM by
Normally, we advise clients not to negotiate in the media.  Negotiating in or through the media tends to lead to posturing, blaming, attacking and hyperbole.  Instead the parties to any critical negotiation should as a part of their process negotiations, agree in advance, on the ground rules for dealing with the media.  There should also be protocols for dealing with any breaches of an agreement on how to deal with the press.  They should agree on who on each team will speak to the press and what other members of the team should do when approached by the press.  If... Read more →
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How Trust Works

Posted 4:26 PM by
Once again I am drawn to the subject of trust the glue that holds everything together. What is Trust? According to IBM’s Institute for Knowledge Management researchers and authors, Daniel Z. Levin, Rob Cross, and Lisa Abrams it consists of two components – benevolence and competence. Researchers Roger C. Mayer, James H. Davis, and F. David Schoorman[1] identified a third component – reliability. We have developed a model that incorporates this research.  The Ki ThoughtBridge model uses the language of Competence, Character, and Compassion as essential to trust.   Competence is trust that the other party is skilled and knows what... Read more →
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Negotiation Lesson #7 - Know Thyself: Preparing Your Inner Negotiator

Posted 9:57 PM by
In preparing for a negotiation, a negotiator has two kinds of work to do, outer work and inner work.  Outer work refers to work that is tangible, and is or will be visible both to the negotiator and to those with whom he/she is negotiating.  Outer work involves things like doing research, developing a strategy, and then implementing that preparation and strategy at the negotiation table.  It involves the actions and words of the negotiator at the negotiation table. It also involves anticipating the interests, needs goals and concerns of the other negotiator and preparing to address them.  The... Read more →
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Media as Leader

Posted 4:49 PM by
In my previous blog I expressed deep concerns about the choice of leadership that 43% of the electorate made in selecting the President-elect of the United States. The communication and behavior of this individual since has not changed my concerns about the level of maturity and the potential for unethical behavior. I now have a much greater concern that reaches beyond the Oval office. The President is one individual and leads the executive branch of government. Usually we can count on the two other branches of government to ensure the efficacy of a system of checks and balances the... Read more →
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A Message to America

Posted 8:57 PM by
America, we have a problem. Sixty million people voted for a person with the least experience of any individual aspiring to the office of President of the United States. He received nearly 2 million votes less than his opponent, and has the lowest approval rating of a candidate running for this office. A man who questioned the citizenship and authority of the current President and who characterized him as an illegal immigrant became the voice for those who refused to acknowledge his presidency and for those who from the first day of his election vowed to make him a one... Read more →
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Negotiation Lesson #6: Working Backwards Can Help You Move Forward

Posted 2:55 PM by
When facing a complex, multi-party, multi issue negotiation, one way to manage the complexity successfully is to, “Begin with the end in mind.”  Develop a negotiation process map.  The word, “process” in this context refers to how one will negotiate.  There are always two levels in any negotiation: the first level deals with process, determining “how,” the parties will negotiate.  The second level of negotiation deals with substance, “what” it is you will negotiate for, i.e., a higher salary, new technology, or a sales contract. Begin the process negotiation with all negotiation parties in the room, jointly articulating... Read more →
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