Customer Reviews: Basic Skills for the New Mediator, Second Edition
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on July 16, 1999
As a new mediator, I was looking for a book that would describe mediation skills in clear, non-legal language. This book is it! The question-and-answer format is a very effective teaching tool that walks you through the mediation process. When I think of a question that I would want to ask, it seems that the author has anticipated it and there it is. Mr. Goodman is obviously someone with extensive experience, both as a trainer and a mediator. I am a retired teacher and I found particularly valuable the appendix "Everything You Never Wanted to Know About the Rules of Evidence." The author offers an interesting explanation for including this information - that a mediator should have a basic knowledge of the concepts of evidence because we all (not just lawyers) apply these principles in every day life. This appendix alone is worth the price of the book.
I also purchased the companion volume, Basic Skills for the New Arbitrator, so I could gain an understanding of arbitration and broaden my knowledge of the increasingly popular field of alternative dispute resolution. I found that book equally easy to understand and very valuable.
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on July 27, 1999
Both of Allan Goodman's books, BASIC SKILLS FOR THE NEW MEDIATOR and BASIC SKILLS FOR THE NEW ARBITRATOR, deserve to be read and re-read by every ADR professional and every advisor to parties in dispute before he or she enters the session. As a practicing mediator, arbitrator and ADR trainer, I know I do, and it gives me the presence to relax and "enjoy" the session, because I know I will be giving the best process skills of ADR to the parties and their representatives.
Concise, readily assimilated answers to some of the most perplexing problems faced by ADR neutrals are presented at each stage of the mediation and arbitration process. I would further recommend the appropriate book be given to the disputing parties to assist them in knowledgeable decision-making and a successful resolution.
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on May 25, 1999
Mediation is rapidly becoming the most popular process in the expanding alternative dispute resolution arsenel. Clearly the speed, economy and non-binding aspects are appealing in an otherwise formal andadversarial environment. But less formal does not imply free form. The parties must remain confident that the mediator is knowledgeable of the issues and in control of the process. Allan H. Goodman's new book on the Basic Skills for the New Mediator can best be described as the essential book on mediation. Most books on this subject tend to deal with the art form called negotiation and all the various strategies to be considered by the facilitator in this process. Allan Goodman has provided here insightful and sometimes anecdotal suggestions as to how a new mediator should approach this whole process. In essence, he has left to each mediator his or her own persuasive talents as to how best to resolve the dispute while more importantly giving to the mediator the tools whereby the parties have confidence in the process and respect for the mediator. The question and answer format used here is unique as it anticipates the chronology likely to be experienced by the mediator while dispensing advice appropriate to the issue. While the veteran mediator would be well advised to use this book as a desk top reference, the new mediator will find this book essential.
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on May 1, 2002
I am a construction lawyer in the Washington, D.C. area and found Judge Goodman's book to be just the thing in giving me a primer on mediation approaches. It is organized extremely well, is easy to read, and gave me lots of help as I prepared for my first mediation. The format of questions and answers is perfect for this subject. The only thing I would like to see is a second volume for advanced mediation, since Judge Goodman has much to offer.
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on June 30, 1999
Thirty years ago I began the practice of law by serving as a Law Clerk to a federal judge. In retrospect, after three decades as a civil litigator, the most important lesson that I learned back then was to think like a Judge when acting as an get inside the Judge's head, gameplan a winning scenario, and present my case accordingly.
Allan Goodman's seminal work ostensibly is a handbook for novice Mediators, providing checklists, advice and guidance for the newly minted specialist in Alternative Disputes Resolution. As a practical matter, it is an indispensible tool for any advocate - lawyer or lay - in planning a successful Mediation and avoiding an expensive, lengthy courtroom battle. Judge Goodman provides the requisite virtual roadmap through any Mediator's head.
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on December 8, 2006
If you want to be a mediator, you will have to take an exhausting training in just about any jurisdiction. You will be required to take at least 40 hours of training. In fact, before beginning the training, my best advice for you is to get a copy of this book, which can be read in four hours or less, and I am positively sure that you will have a considerable edge over your training classmates. They will all wonder if you came to the training with prior experience. Not only you will feel more confident in knowing the process, but you will also get good suggestions from the author as to how to conduct particular matters. I think that when you want to try something new, whatever it may be, e.g., table chess, judo, dog breeding, etc., you need a beginners guide and lots of advice from knowledgeable people. This is precisely what this book does with respect to mediation.
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As a mediator for over 20 years, people often come to me for advice on how they can break into the profession.
Their are 2 things I tell them they must do:

1. Take a mediation course
2. Buy Allen H. Goodman's book

This is a thin book, but gives the beginner just what they need to answer the basic questions. It is written well and very informative. Judge Goodman also has a similar book for Arbitrators I also recommend.
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on April 4, 2011
I bought this book before I attended a basic mediation class. I loved the format - basically, it asks a question and then answers it point by point. I shared it around the class and everyone thought it was great. It addresses so many things - caucuses, mediation vs. arbitration, and plenty of other questions beginners don't know enough to ask. I wish the same people would publish a how to start your own mediation practice book.
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on August 26, 2012
First, I was surprised how slim the book was. But after just a few pages I realized the author states things in a very straight-forward, easy to understand format. Yes, you CAN get a lot of info from under 100 pages. I highlighted a lot.

I also appreciated there was no "self-glorification" stories aka "Look how brilliant I am."

The sample mediator agreement in the appendix was worth the price of the book alone.
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on November 16, 2008
Judge Goodman's methodical, question and answer approach is very effective in giving the novice mediator an overview of what is involved, the essential skills needed, and anticipates problems that can arise during the mediation process. A succinct appendix on the rules of evidence is particularly valuable. Excellent.
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