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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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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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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 th...
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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 presi...
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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, &...
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Negotiation Lesson #5: Labor Management Negotiations

Posted 1:36 PM by
Negotiating When There is No Trust, No Working Relationship and a Bad History One morning in early January, the phone in my office rang and the individual on the other end of the line laid out the following negotiation challenges: My name is ___________ and our organization has to negotiate with the most powerful union in our state. They openly brag that they’ve won everything but the kitchen sink.  Contract negotiations three years ago were nasty and contentious; ...
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Negotiation Lesson #4: “When Emotions Threaten to Derail Negotiations: Focus on Process not Substance”

Posted 4:31 PM by
This is the fourth blog in my series, titled, “10 Negotiation Lessons.”  Lessons 1-3 have advised you to “Always Test Assumptions,” “Address Elephants and Red Flags Early,” and “Make the Invisible Visible.” Today’s lesson deals with emotions. A goal I hear most often when teaching negotiation skills is, “I want to learn how to get rid of emotion.”  If you’ve ever been involved in a negotiation where parties ...
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