“But we’ve always done it this way” all too often stifles fresh thinking or bars the way to needed change. That’s why now and again it doesn’t hurt to shake things up.
And shaking things up in the world of negotiation training and teaching is a new book, Rethinking Negotiation Teaching: Innovations for Context and Culture, edited by ADR movers and shakers Chris Honeyman, James Coben, and Giuseppe De Palo. Published by DRI Press, an imprint of the Dispute Resolution Institute at Hamline University School of Law, this book is available at Amazon.com and, best of all, as chapter-by-chapter PDF downloads at the Hamline web site.
In his introduction, Honeyman explains why it’s time to reconsider how negotiation is taught:
The completion of one generation offers a classic moment to take stock in full of any social innovation. By some measures, including market success across a variety of disciplines, the teaching of negotiation has been a great success story, and has been relatively consistent. The cohesiveness and attractiveness of the interest-based model across law, business, public policy, international relations, urban planning, and other fields have been remarkable. From a base of essentially zero courses in 1979, nearly every law or business school in the U.S. now has at least one course in negotiation, and many other countries are at various points on the same path. But that very success has combined with the inchoate nature of an interdisciplinary field to mask the inherent challenge created by the separate discoveries of many disciplines.
Over the last three decades those discoveries have been many. But by and large, they have not yet been incorporated in current teaching in any organized or consistent way. This book, together with the simultaneous publication of the Spring 2009 issue of Nego-tiation Journal, [Volume 25(2), with a special section guest-edited by the same editors], marks the first results of an interdisciplinary effort to make sense of these discoveries. We intend to revamp the teaching of our field across many settings and cultures.
I have already begun to dip into this superb collection of articles. Among those that grabbed my attention are these:
If you’re a negotiation trainer or teacher who’s ready to reboot their own thinking about how to teach negotiation, this is one book you’ll want to add to your shelf.
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