Leadership Skills and Best Practices

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Leading in Uncertainty

Posted 5:31 PM by
Comments by Katherine Tyler Scott, Managing Partner, Ki ThoughtBridge, LLC; presented at Churchill College, Moller Centre, Cambridge University, October 10, 2017[1] Leaders are agents of change. They create it; initiate it; respond to it; implement and manage it. While none of this is news what is challenging is that they are facing a degree of change unparalleled in the history of humankind unless compared to the fourth and seventeenth centuries. The pace and complexity of change seems t...
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“Know When to Hold Em, Know When To Fold Em:” Patience and Judgement in Negotiation

Posted 4:12 PM by
Paraphrase of a line from a country music song, made famous by Kenny Rogers Although the line in the song is about a card game, poker to be exact, the two attributes Kenny Rogers is singing about, patience and judgement, are critical attributes for successful negotiation.  Why is patience important?  Any negotiation is like a puzzle to which a negotiator has only some of the pieces.  The other party or parties to the negotiation hold the pieces that will help a negotiator d...
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Just Another Word for Nothing Left to Lose

Posted 8:48 PM by
“Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose.” These words immortalized in the raspy soul-filled rendition by Janis Joplin come to mind as most appropriate for these times. Times when civility is devalued, an independent press is under daily attack; national institutions are portrayed as enemies of the State, when we are blatantly bombarded with lies, and when ad hominem attacks on leaders are repeatedly tweeted from the highest office. I feel the ground of decency o...
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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 Edw...
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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 wi...
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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?&...
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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 ...
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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 s...
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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 Th...
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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 in...
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