Favorite Books and Articles

Beer, Jennifer and Stief, Eileen.  The Mediator’s Handbook.  New Society Publishers, 1997.

Comments:  A great beginner’s book on mediating conflict (not just for formal mediation).  It explains what kinds of issues can and can’t be mediated, how to establish a safe and neutral context, how to guide parties to resolution, how to write an agreement and when to call it quits.  Contains the best wisdom, principles, tools, and tips of the renowned Friends Conflict Resolution Programs. 

Fisher, Roger and Ury, William.  Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In.  Penguin Books, 1981.

Comments: The classic and essential book on conflict resolution.  Explains essential principles of conflict resolution (separate the people from the problem; focus on interests, not positions; invent options for mutual gain; use objective criteria).  Also explains key negotiation practices to deal with impasses (such as: identify the BATNA – best alternative to a negotiated agreement, “unpack” positions – explore what’s underneath them.) 

Hupp, Toni.  Data Feedback Meetings: Moments of Truth and Success Factors,” Consulting Today, Spring 1999, Volume 3, Issue 1. (For info call 914 591-5522.)

Hupp, Toni.  Navigating Conflict: The Journey to Resolution,” Consulting Today, June 2000, Volume 4, Issue 2. (For info call 914 591-5522.)

Levine, Stewart.  Getting to Resolution: Turning Conflict into Collaboration.  Berrett-Koehler, 1998.

Comments:  This book explains, better than others, how to shift disputants from an adversarial mindset to a collaborative one.  It also spells out the on-going costs of failing to make this shift. 

Nadler, David.  Feedback and Organizational Development: Using Data-Based Methods. Addison-Wesley, 1977.

Comments:  The classic book on how to get clients to own and follow through on feedback. 

Slaikeu, Karl A.  When Push Comes to Shove: A Practical Guide to Mediating Disputes.  Jossey-Bass, 1996.

Comments: Provides a wonderful format for gathering the critical information and perspectives needed to reach resolution – a Conflict Resolution Matrix for identifying each party’s: interests, facts/history, best alternative to a negotiated agreement, possible solutions, and integrated resolution. 

Stone, Douglas; Patton, Bruce; and Heen, Sheila.  Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most.  Penguin Books, 1999.

Comments:  A new book from the Harvard Negotiation Project (the folks who brought us the original conflict resolution classic, Getting to Yes).  This one is destined to become a classic as well.  This book explains 3 parallel conversations that occur whenever we deal with uncomfortable issues: The “what happened” conversation to establish what happened and who’s at fault.  The “feelings” conversation to own feelings and establish whether they’re valid and appropriate.  And the “identity” conversation to establish each party’s worth and competence.  The authors explain how to shift each conversation from a counterproductive “message delivery stance” (to set the record straight or draw a “line in the sand”) to a productive “learning stance” (to unpack differences, understand a larger reality, and come to a win/win resolution). 

Copyright © 2001 Toni R. Hupp