Are you a lawyer, real estate pro, contractor, or just a person negotiating his or her way through life? If you didn’t answer “yes” to this question, I would be surprised. We don’t all think of ourselves as negotiators or mediators, but any attorney or individual who has to work through any situation of conflict (whether a crowded parking lot, an employment review or request for a raise) “negotiates” multiple times a day. As they often say, acknowledgment is the first step to enlightenment (or something like that!).
When I was sent a copy of A is for Asshole: The Grownups’ ABC’s of Conflict Resolution by its author, my good friend, fellow attorney, and mediator extraordinaire Victoria Pynchon (@vickiepynchon on Twitter), I was flattered. When she asked me to write a “blurb” for inclusion in the book, I was floored.
A reading of this advanced copy (and the published version with its great illustrations), gave even a seasoned construction attorney, former psychology major at Duke University, and mediation advocate some thoughts to chew on. Vickie takes a “primer” type approach to the vast field of psychological and practical factors that create conflict in our lives. Her approach to this serious subject (one that permeates my construction practice on a regular basis) uses day to day situations (whether the above-mentioned crowded parking lot or a harried mom dealing with a sibling argument after the fact) to illustrate concepts in a way that makes the reader (in this case me) smile and have multiple “AHA!” moments.
The use of an “ABC” type structure of short chapters and concrete examples that make you smile (or sometimes blush) from the kinship you feel with the subject of that chapter, whether “L is for Lawyer” or “F is for Friend” makes the advice and insight concrete in a way that frankly surprised me in its candor and digestibility. The book really does break down what could be a dull subject discussed in a psychology or sociology class into an enjoyable read. With each page, I either thought “I know that guy” or “Wow, am I like that?” I’m sure you will have the same reaction. The insights from this great book can only help in my day to day construction law practice.
If you haven’t gathered by now, I like the book and recommend it to lawyers and anyone who wants insight into dealing with the many characters and situations that we all encounter on a daily basis. I could not say it better than Jay Jay French of Twisted Sister did in his blurb for the book:
After reading Victoria Pynchon’s book- – I really now understand the meaning of We’re Not Gonna Take It- – this book rocks!
Update: You can now get this great book on the Kindle!
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