Thursday, February 17, 2011

A is for Asshole: The Grownups’ ABCs of Conflict Resolution

One of the most prolific and interesting people writing and commenting on mediation is Victoria Pynchon, author of the Negotiation Law blog. She is “one of the two founders of She Negotiates Consulting and Training, whose name says it all. She writes a monthly column for ForbesWoman unsurprisingly called She Negotiates, and the Forbes On the Docket Legal Blog. Impressive, to say the least.

She has recently written a great book with the eye-catching title, “A is for Asshole: The Grownups’ ABCs of Conflict Resolution.” Described on Amazon as an “imaginative and candid introduction to conflict resolution…It’s a pleasure to read…free of the dead hand of write-like-a-lawyer prose.”

I can personally attest that the rest of the book is just as interesting as the title. D is for Drama Queen, I is for Idiot, M is for Mediator, Z is for Zen Master and so on. The book opens with a story about conflict over finding a parking space. (Yes, Ms. Pynchon is from Los Angeles.)

She defines conflict at the simplest level, as whenever “one person believes that his needs or desires cannot be satisfied at the same time as those of his fellows.”

Ms. Pynchon is a wonderful writer. I commend this book, her column and her blogs to your attention.

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