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Improvisational Negotiation: A Mediator's Stories of Conflict About Love, Money, Angerand the Strategies That Resolved Them [Kindle Edition]

Jeffrey Krivis
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

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 conflict - families, organizations, corporations - and 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?



Editorial Reviews

Review

"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

From the Inside Flap

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 conflict—families, organizations, corporations—and 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.


Product Details

  • File Size: 2189 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (July 23, 2007)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000PY4VV0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,066,503 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Improv Comes Alive in Mediation January 31, 2006
Format:Hardcover
Jazz enthusiast and mediator extraordinaire, Author Jeff Krivis, brings to life, the realities of living in the moments of mediation. His stories are filled with the subtleties of human communications, human frailties and the power of man's ability to resolve impossible conflict. From the simple to the complex, the serious to the sublime, Jeff has captured many poignant mediation turning points and dissected them for the reader's education and skill building. Whether you are a highly experienced mediation professional, or just getting seated in the neutral's chair, Improvisational Negotiation is a humble and worthwhile read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very entertaining and resourceful read June 21, 2006
Format:Hardcover
Mr. Krivis has succeeded in creating a very entertaining and resourceful book that anyone in the conflict resolution arena would find a must read, including attorneys, mediators, claims adjusters, negotiators, human resource personnel, private parties in conflict, and the list could go on and on.

I enjoyed the book because it was written with such detail and specificity in a John Grisham type style, yet at the same time it was also very educational and applicable. The material was so good and entertaining that I found myself at the end of each chapter saying, "Okay, one more chapter then I'll go to bed." Then a half hour later, "Okay, really just one more chapter."

Mr. Krivis has shared in this book many valuable tools that I have already applied in my private practice as an attorney and mediator. I can testify that they have tremendously benefitted my clients and my practice. For this reason, I find myself referring to the book weekly and frequently recommending it to my colleagues. Thanks for the great read Mr. Krivis and subsequent enhancement to my practice. This book is a must read!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Improvisational Negotiation January 19, 2006
Format:Hardcover
I enjoyed reading this book. In addition to the Hip-Pocket Guide to Strategy, which is excellent, this author is a masterful storyteller. His tales are not simple, though. They record decisions people have made in difficult circumstances; Some involve relationship and communication breakdowns while others are mostly about money, still others involve negotiators whose decision making depends on finding creative solutions or on using information strategically. As the author recounts these cases from his own experiences and those of colleagues, he shows us how mediators lead negotiators toward resolution. Each of the thirty examples is followed by a discussion of the techniques and approach used by the mediator. Some criticisms are offered, with the benefit of hindsight of course. The presentation of each case, the analysis of the techniques used and the author's reflections on the experience enables the reader to see each of these mediations from the perspective of a master mediator. A book that does all this deserves to be highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Improvisational Negotiation February 15, 2006
Format:Hardcover
I have been a parenting consultant for twenty-five years, working with single parents, married couples and divorced couples. This book was inspiring to me. There were many instances where I never would have thought to ask the questions or use the strategies that the Mediator used but they were so on-target and helpful that I will definitely incorporate them into my practice now! The book is easy to read and the summaries at the end of the anecdotes ("What Strategies Can We Learn?") are a bonus. I ordered an extra copy of this book to lend to my clients.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A helpful guide for both mediators and lawyers April 8, 2011
By A. Nye
Format:Hardcover
Jeffrey Krivis has mediated thousands of cases in practically every imaginable legal area. A former trial attorney, he has been a successful mediator for over 15 years, and has served as the president of the International Academy of Mediators and the Southern California Mediation Association. He has taught various courses and workshops on mediation and dispute resolution and in 1993 he received the Dispute Resolution Lawyer of the Year Award. His website [...] is filled with a wide array of helpful information.

Improvisational Negotiation takes the unusual approach of showing by example how mediation can help parties reach mutually beneficial solutions. This book forgoes any long-winded discussions of philosophy or the rigid use of a formulaic approach to conflict resolution. Instead, Krivis has filled this book with thirty stories - mostly taken from his own experience. He succinctly explains the disputes in a few pages and then shows how a mediator uses a variety of tools and skills to bring the parties together to settle their conflicts before they end up in the courtroom.

After each case is brought to a conclusion, Krivis summarizes the keys to resolving the negotiations in a short section called "What Happened?" He then concludes with a section called "What Strategies Can We Learn?" where he briefly lists the approaches taken that led to a successful resolution. This is a very entertaining way to show how various approaches are often needed to bring divergent positions to a common ground.
Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing case studies
I am just starting out as a mediator and have found this book both inspiring and practically helpful. Read more
Published on November 24, 2009 by Matthew
5.0 out of 5 stars Very entertaining and insightful.
I found this book to be very entertaining and insightful. Highly recommended for the potential mediators.
Published on October 1, 2008 by Maureen Lara
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical advice - buy this book to help with mediation
I often look at reviews for practical advice, i.e., if people like me read the book and get something out of it, then I want it. Read more
Published on March 28, 2006 by C. Michael Alder
5.0 out of 5 stars Krivis: A Litigator's Mediator
I have been a full time mediator for seven years. Before that, I was a litigator. At times, I utilized Mr. Krivis' expertise as a mediator. Read more
Published on March 20, 2006 by Troy D. Roe
5.0 out of 5 stars The Human Dynamic in Conflict Resolution
What do love, money, anger and conflict have in common? Among other things, pioneer Southern California mediator Jeff Krivis. Read more
Published on February 27, 2006 by Darrell Forgey
5.0 out of 5 stars Inside the mind of a master negotiator
Through the gripping stories contained in this book, the reader gets a rare and highly coveted opportunity to observe the author (an internationally recognized mediator) at work in... Read more
Published on February 24, 2006 by Mariam Zadeh
5.0 out of 5 stars very insightful
Mr krivis provides an insight into the negotiating process that opens the door for many new techniques in mediating dificult cases. Read more
Published on February 20, 2006 by Aaron S. Bregman
4.0 out of 5 stars The Story Teller
Jeff Krivis is an supreme story teller who weaves tales that keep his readers engaged and awed. He uses these tales of masterfully conducted mediations to illustrate how... Read more
Published on January 24, 2006 by Colorado Joe
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