If you are interested in a highly readable, relatable, and well-reasoned book on how to live a life empowered and ready to negotiate for your good and the good of others, I highly recommend For the Forces of Good: The Superpower of Everyday Negotiation by S. Lucia Kanter St. Amour.
I appreciate the layout of Kanter St. Amour’s book. It contains stories, theory, research, and “Everyday Super Tips.”
Who is the book for?
I’ve been thinking about this question. If asked in the negative, “who would NOT benefit from reading For the Forces of Good,” I come up short.
This book is accessible for beginners in the art of negotiation and mediation. In addition to citing classic texts (Getting to YES, Good Night Moon (!), and Plato’s Republic), Kanter St. Amour drops a lot of theory, offering clear and simple explanations, giving the novice loads of additional sources to scour.
As for those who widely read in this space and/or have a lot of negotiating experience, the way Kanter St. Amour uses personal stories show in a concrete particular way how to put theory into practice from a unique point of view. Seeing how others interpret theory and experiences are a wonderful way to find new ideas to add to your ever-expanding mediation toolkit.
I found chapter 15, “Hand Over Your Milk Money: Negotiating with Bullies,” of particular interest. She starts the chapter by saying, “I’m not a fan of labeling someone a “bully” or any other moniker that is reductive and dehumanizing. People are multitudes, and I imagine those who exhibit bullying-type behaviors experience a fair amount of inner turmoil from which they cannot free themselves.” I, too, am averse to labeling and dismissing people. And yet, when people show you through repeated behavior what they value, believe them and act accordingly. Kanter St. Amour offers down-to-earth advice as to how to interact effectively with high-conflict people without degrading yourself (or the other) in the process.
Looking over the sections I highlighted throughout my copy of For the Forces of Good, there are many gems to mine. I hope you enjoy and benefit from S. Lucia Kanter St. Amour’s debut book as much as I have.
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