A Difficult Personality and How to Soothe The Beast

Difficult Personality

We’ve all dealt with a “difficult personality.” This is the person we are afraid to run into on the elevator at work, the family member who never fails to offend, or the jerk at the furniture store who refuses to refund your money on a delivery that was never made.The difficult personality is a confounding …

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Profound New Insights on Conflict and Client Psychology

As a kid I used to enjoy looking through glasses of water at the objects beyond because, depending upon the shape of the glass or the flow of the water, the images became distorted, bent, and often produced some pretty funny results. What I didn’t realize at the time was that with or without a …

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The Negotiation Dance: 5 Reasons Not To Sit Out

Negotiating price (or a settlement amount) can be a long and frustrating process.Think about the last time you bought a car. Exhausting, wasn’t it? And yet research has shown that the outcome is often predictable. Professor Peter Robinson of Pepperdine University reports that such negotiations usually end with an agreement about halfway between the first …

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Buddah’s Brain: Neuroscience’s Lessons for Better Conflict Resolution

The book Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love & Wisdom was published in 2009 by Dr. Rick and Hanson and Dr. Richard Mendius with the intention of blending the latest findings in neuropsychology with a general framework for healthy living. The piece was designed to be a comprehensible, accessible book aimed at helping …

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Power in Negotiation

Physics defines power as work divided by time. Work, in turn, is the application of force in a direction. Power, then, can be thought of as the ability to get things moving (more) quickly in a desired direction. The same definition applies in social interactions like negotiation.  Power is the ability to get desired things …

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Ten Strategies for Managing Stress

I am now an author, holistic mediator, and life-coach, but when I was practicing law, I had more than one case that drove me to the edge. My body is now recovering from the impact of the stress of my legal practice. The law is a profession that is hard on the adrenals. Even in …

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The Mixed-Motive Exchange

We humans are social, but also individual. We often need help to succeed or excel. For example, early man was a poor match for a mastodon or prehistoric bison. He could hunt or gather smaller, less nutritious food alone. But he needed to hunt in a group if he were to take such dangerous high …

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The Predictability of Distributive Bargaining

This article examines the predictability of distributive bargaining between two negotiators, and conditions that might distort that predictability. It also introduces the important concept of the ‘negotiation dance,’ which is basic to the study of the negotiation process.Negotiation is a social act; of communication and discovery between two or more people, with the goal of …

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Perceptual Bias and The Frustrated Negotiator

It’s after lunch, and Fred’s feeling pretty good as he sorts through today’s mail.  Ah! There it is, Tom Smith’s response to Fred’s settlement offer in Ajax Accounting v. Johnston. It’s a solid offer, and Fred smiles as he thinks about the vacation he’s going to take during what are now the two weeks set …

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The Power Of “And”

The word “and” is short but powerful. It connects as well as includes. It adds rather than negates. The word “and” provides energy in collaboration and contributes momentum toward synergy. This word enables people with differing perspectives to find common ground. It can supply motivation when opposing parties may be losing hope of achieving their …

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