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Posted by: Christy Gibson on Mar 14, 2012

The TBA has asked me to write a brief review of a book that I’ve found to be useful in my mediation practice.  While my busy schedule undoubtedly affords me the opportunity to keep my review brief, how on earth am I supposed to confine my comments to justone book?!  Should it be one of the classics such as Getting To Yes, A Positive No, or Beyond Reason.  Obviously each of those would be a worthy candidate since I heartily recommend them to trainees quite regularly.  But experienced mediators are surely aware of those books already.  So then what about the more recent cutting-edge books dealing with neuroscience and the brain, such as Thinking Fast and Slow or How We Decide — are they too specialized perhaps?  Then again, maybe I should stick with a more straightforward text like The Mediation Process: Practical Strategies for Resolving Conflict.

On second thought, I’m sure that most mediators already know of the basic texts in the field. Well, since I need to pick just one, here it is — People Skills by Robert Bolton. It is truly utilitarian insofar as it helps develop your reflective listening skills and teaches techniques for avoiding or overcoming the most common communication barriers.  And it also has a section on how to engage in collaborative problem solving.  Quite simply, it is thought-provoking yet practical.

So there it is — one book that I’ve found useful in my mediation practice. 

Stephen L. Shields

Jackson, Shields, Yeiser & Holt


The most influential book on my practice is Kenneth Cloke’s Mediating Dangerously: The Frontiers of Conflict Resolution

Another more recent book I have found helpful is Laurence J. Boulle, Michael T. Colatrella, Jr., and Anthony P. Picchioni, Mediation Skills and Techniques.

A third recommendation is Dr. David McMillan’s site.  Click on the Third Position link.

Kenneth W. Jackson