"Every person interested in becoming a better negotiator or mediator must read this book. Krivis’s extensive experience as one of the most successful professional mediators in California makes him eminently qualified to offer instruction and guidance in the art of making deals. His format of case studies followed by insightful analysis makes this book so entertaining that the reader almost loses sight of all that he is learning. Reading this book will make you a better negotiator, mediator, problem solver, and person."
--Peter Robinson, acting director and associate professor, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine University School of Law
"Krivis’s insightful stories illustrate not only the techniques of a masterful mediator but also the complexity of human conflict. Mediators seeking to expand their toolbox will find this book invaluable."
--David Hoffman, chair, American Bar Association Section on Dispute Resolution
"Must reading for anybody interested in finding creative ways to resolve complex disputes. A practical guide based on real-world experience to avoid the courtroom."
--Kenneth Feinberg, head, 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund
"These candid accounts of the unstructured world of mediation are thought-provoking, entertaining, alarming, compelling, instructive, and extremely helpful. The quirky characters, the startling facts, and the deeply human decision-making processes in these stories will resonate with every experienced mediator. By inviting readers to sit next to the mediator as these stories unfold, Jeff Krivis has done an enormous service to the field of dispute resolution."
--Michael Moffitt, associate professor and associate director, Appropriate Dispute Resolution Center, University of Oregon School of Law
"Jeff is a mediator who cares deeply about his craft, and every page of this book shows it. It deserves to be read by all professional mediators who aspire to his level of excellence, by lawyers who advise clients in the mediation process, and also by students of human nature. His stories are full of warmth and the characters skillfully drawn. The insights into negotiation theory are profound."
--Tony Willis, Brick Court Chambers, London, England
"The reason this book is so important is because it allows the reader to feel and sense what the mediation of conflict is really about. Beyond technique, at core, the success of a mediator is his or her authenticity--that’s not necessarily the same as honesty and goes beyond mere empathy--it is the ability to connect and develop an essential level of trust with the parties. That’s why Krivis has been so successful in his mediation practice and it’s what permeates through his words and stories. Every mediator, novice or advanced, practicing in any area of conflict management, would reap great benefit from reading this book."
--Robert Benjamin, senior mediator, Mediation and Conflict Management Services, Portland, Oregon
"All conflicts are an alchemy of strong emotions, deep hurts, great perils. Always, there is the prospect of finding something bigger and transformational around the corner if we can find our way through it. Krivis shows us the way. A skilled mediator and master communicator, he demonstrates the patient power of story as a strategy for overcoming anger, pain, and sadness. More important, he renews hope that all of us can do the same when we are dealing with our own problems or helping others with theirs."
--Peter S. Adler, president, The Keystone Center
"Improvisational Negotiation is a road map to mediation ingenuity. It inspires us all to be creative and persistent in seeking resolution."
--Richard Chernick, managing director, JAMS Arbitration Practice
"Improvisational Negotiation is a must-read for all mediators. Jeff Krivis, a world-class mediator, brings the reader into the conference room and provides amazing insights that are both practical and useful. This wonderful book is like attending a superior advanced mediation training in the comfort of your living room."
--Eric Galton, mediator and author, Lakeside Mediation Center, Austin, Texas
"Jeff Krivis has once again demonstrated why he is one of the premier mediators in the world by writing an easy-to-read yet sophisticated treatment of what actually happens in mediation. The post-story sections of ‘What Happened?’ and ‘What Strategies Can We Learn?’ are helpful for practitioners from the novice to the master levels. The conversational tone, rather than a research approach with footnotes and case authority, is refreshing yet is still an invaluable way of telling the mediator’s story!"
--Robert A. Creo, founding member and past president, International Academy of Mediators
"After decades of negotiating and mediating some of the toughest cases around, Jeff Krivis has written a book explaining how he gets the job done. Well-written and entertaining, this is a book every lawyer should read."
--Richard H. Friedman, trial lawyer and author of Rules of the Road, Proving Liability in Bad Faith and Other Complex Cases
"This is a valuable and accessible resource for anyone interested in knowing about commercial mediation. And it is fun to read."
--Arlen Gregorio, Gregorio, Haldeman & Piazza, Mediated Negotiations
"Without compromising the mystical interaction of human touch with high skill, Krivis delivers a treasure trove of methods to discover the ‘art of the deal.’"
--Tracy Allen, trainer and private mediator
"Jeff Krivis’s stories of masterful mediation are perfect for promoting the kind of moment-to-moment creativity that characterizes the great mediators--and the great jazz musicians. For mediators at any stage of their careers, Improvisational Negotiation is a treasure of illustration, illumination, and inspiration."
--Leonard L. Riskin, C. A. Leedy Professor of Law, University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law; director, Center for the Study of Dispute Resolution
Everyone agrees that a good story can make a point simply, effectively, and memorably. In this groundbreaking book, pioneer attorney and mediator Jeffrey Krivis shows how fascinating and inspirational stories can illuminate the process of conflict resolution and teach us how to help people reach a successful settlement.
Improvisational Negotiation presents an original approach for mediators, negotiators, and other dispute resolution professionals. Drawing on his own experience plus those of his colleagues, Jeffrey Krivis offers the reader dramatic, well-crafted, and highly instructive stories about people in conflictfamilies, organizations, corporationsand shows how mediated negotiations help them to reach a successful resolution.
Unlike most books on the topic, Improvisational Negotiation does not focus on theory, philosophy, or formulaic procedures. The book highlights entertaining true stories that illuminate the skills and tools a good mediator uses to direct a successful negotiation and then asks the questions, What happened? and What strategies can we learn?
Krivis includes stories about personal and business disputes, as well as conflicts about money and strategy. Each story includes a brief discussion of what went right (and sometimes wrong) in the scenario and contains information on the specific techniques highlighted in the case.
Improvisational Negotiation also includes a special section on advanced mediation techniques such as how to get a stalled negotiation back in motion, recognize the key turning points in a case, and utilize dramatic opportunities for a breakthrough.