Friday, December 2, 2016

Review of "Seven Visual Steps to Yes: Difficult Decisions, Mediations and Negotiations Made Easier," by Janet Miller Wiseman

Review of
Seven Visual Steps to Yes: Difficult Decisions, Mediations and Negotiations Made Easier, by Janet Miller Wiseman ISBN 9781478771739

 This book is essentially a set of case histories of difficult negotiations successfully mediated using what the author describes as the seven visual steps. The points of contention cover everything from where a couple will be taking their vacation, making a choice between taking a vacation versus building a garage to the best way to split property in a separation or divorce.
 The seven steps are:

1) Setting down the “I want” positions.
2) The individual, basic bottom-line human needs of the principals.
3) Determining what “really, really” matters to each of the principals relative to the conflict.
4) The individual best personal alternatives for the principals.
5) Brainstorming: generating options and ideas for agreement.
6) Supposals and proposals to build agreement.
7) The mutual agreement.

 As can be seen from this list, there is nothing new in these seven steps, they are the blueprint for successful negotiation since such things became a part of the human experience.
 The valuable content of the book is in the descriptions of the tactics used to resolve the conflicts. Every situation is different, requiring the mediator to maintain flexibility and a bit of creative imagination during the discussions. That is seen in the specifics, giving the reader some valuable insight into moving both sides to an acceptable if not desired position.
 The author is clearly an experienced and effective mediator, the case studies in this book will provide insight and assistance to both beginning and experienced mediators.

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