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112 Ways to Succeed in Any Negotiation or Mediation (Book Review)

by Jeff Thompson
August 2009 Jeff Thompson

Steve Mehta, already an accomplished mediator and ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) blogger, has decided to take on the title of author for his latest project. 112 Ways to Succeed in Any Negotiation or Mediation is the title of his debut as an author and to those who know him, it comes as no surprise that Mehta has provided us with a valuable resource.

The 200 page book gives 112 suggested practices in a brief format for mediators and negotiators. Most are less than a single page in length with only a handful exceeding one page. Mehta uses a simple formula for each of his tips: First, he explains it in relation to the ADR field. Next, he provides a combination of real life personal examples and explains the tip’s applications in everyday, non-ADR settings. Finally, he explains the benefits of the suggested practice.

It is Mehta’s relating the tip to everyday situations that allows the book to be applicable to a wide audience. An established mediator and negotiator, a mid-career ADR professional as well as people new to the field or even just considering entering the profession of a mediator or negotiator will find this book useful.

The established practitioner will see these 112 offerings as friendly reminders of what to include in their interactions while taking Mehta’s experiences and relating them to their own.

New practitioners are allowed insight into Mehta’s extensive mediation experience, exposing them to how techniques play out in real situations.

Not surprisingly, Mehta has organized the book by breaking down each tip into groups. The main groups are structured in the same fashion a successful mediator and negotiator would enter a new case: preparing, the actual negotiation and the closing. Additional chapters include various negotiation styles, the process of using a mediator and – in the book’s concluding chapter - common mistakes in negotiation and mediation”.

112 Ways is not intended to be a text book or a teaching tool for educators; rather, it serves a complimentary role alongside the many books and other educational resources currently available. Mehta’s short, concise method of delivery engages practitioners’ minds in considering each suggested technique while also considering how or if to apply it in their own practice.

Mehta states on page 88, “One of the key ingredients to a successful negotiation is creativity.” This is reflected in the core essence of 112 Ways ; it is a creative reminder of practices that a successful mediator and negotiator should consider in their next engagement during with conflict.

Biography


Jeff Thompson, Ph.D., is a professor at Lipscomb University, researcher, mediator, and trainer. He is also involved in crisis and hostage negotiation as well as a law enforcement detective. His research includes law enforcement crisis and hostage negotiation in terrorist incidents. He received his doctorate from Griffith University Law School having researched the impact nonverbal communication has in conflict situations with respect to developing rapport, building trust, and displaying professionalism.

Dr. Thompson has presented and trained on the topic of conflict, mediation, (crisis and hostage) negotiation, communication and nonverbal communication internationally for a variety of audiences including police personnel, government officials, judges, attorneys, physicians, sales people, business professionals, and both graduate and undergraduate students. He has also been published in numerous professional and academic publications.

He is the co-chair of ACR's national Crisis Negotiation Section, and he is an ad-hoc reviewer for multiple academic journals. He received his MS in Negotiation and Dispute Resolution from the Werner Institute, Creighton University School of Law.

(All posts by Jeff Thompson represent his personal reflections and opinions and not that of any organization.)



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