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Here Are the Books I Recommend in My Classes & Trainings

From Larry Ray: I have been delivering trainings and teachings for the past 46 years.

Presently, I am teaching negotiation and mediation for The George Washington University School of Law (33 years) in Washington, DC; for the American Management Association (AMA-27 years); Delaware Superior Court Mediation (27 years); and Capital University School of Law (17 years) in Columbus, Ohio.

During all of these trainings and teachings, I make references to a variety of books. These books are briefly reviewed in this blog. I have used these books in a variety of ways.

Fortunately you can order and buy any of these books on this website via Amazon Associates which this blog is. Check “recommended books.”

Maximum Influence by Kurt Mortensen is so excellent and informative that working for AMA, we decided to use this as our basis for creating the Persuasion and Influence course. Each participant who takes this course receives a digital version.

Six Thinking Hats by Edward de Bono. Bono has spent a lifetime thinking about “thinking.” This is a great read and I have created a teaching module using the six thinking styles.

Too Soon Old, Too Late Wise by Dr. Gordon Livingston. I use this wise book in the beginning of most of my trainings. I sound two themes from this book:

- You can spin your wheels and have fun with criticism, but if you really want to have some potential for behavior change, transform your comments to “feedback” using the plus/delta approach.

- Most people already know this, but this is a good reminder that the best judge of a person’s future behavior is their present and past behavior.

Essentials of Negotiation by Roy Lewicki. I have been using this book for many years in teaching negotiation at The George Washington University School of Law. One day, a dean queried why I was using a book written by a Business Professor rather than a Law Professor. The Answer: I teach interactive, hands-on, practical courses. The Lewicki book outlines negotiation behaviors and skills that can be used in everyday transactions.

The Conflict Management Training Book by Prudence Bowman Kestner and Larry Ray. Of course, I love our book. It is full of insight and many instruments, case studies, and exercises. This is the bedrock for many of my courses.


The Conflict Management Program-Leader’s Guide by Prudence Kestner and Larry Ray. This exercise oriented book takes an expansive view of conflict management and communication + basic dispute resolution processes: Mediation, Arbitration, and Negotiation.


Effective Negotiation by Roy Lewicki. Ray uses this textbook in his GWU Law School class. That is how good the book is. It is a practical approach to negotiation based on solid research.

Getting to Yes by Roger Fisher et al. This book was first published in the 1980’s. There are many reasons to read this basic book. One reason is that so many attorneys and negotiators are following the basic principles of this book. These principles include:

-Separating the people from the problem.

-Distinguishing between interests and positions.

-Creating options.

How to Win Friends and Influence Enemies by Dale Carnegie. This was first published in 1936 and republished each 5-year period. The principles still hold true. One principle is negotiators need to exhibit behaviors to get people to “like” them so they are more persuadable.


Getting Results With Authority: This is a great book used in my American Management Association (AMA) course by the same name.

Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. The teaching of this book is relevant to mediation and negotiation. MG instructs us in the US to pay attention to our instincts, intuition and gut reactions. First, pay attention and second, do the research. Most likely, one will find that based on one’s experience, what felt right or what did not feel right, probably is. There is a chapter devoted to where instincts can go wrong in terms of stereotyping or unconscious bias.

Power of Nice: This is a great book that urges negotiators and conflict managers to be Goal Oriented. One can be goal oriented and be civil and polite.

Power of the Positive No: People often say Yes when they need to say No. They often say Yes to accommodate to their own detriment. These authors recommend sandwiching the necessary No between two Yes’s.

Who Moved My Cheese: This author advises the readers to pay attention to how people react to change (risk can be substituted for risks). He divides people into three categories:

- People who hate change to the detriment of their careers and life.

- People who love change causing it to happen when it is not necessary, sometimes to the consternation of others.

- People who are hesitant about change until they realize “what’s in it for them (WIIFT)." If they see benefits, they will flow along with change.

This is important to how one presents their proposal or their idea. The idea can be tailored to persuade.

Too Soon Old, Too Late, Smart: 30 True things you need to know now by Dr. Gordon Livingston. Excellent read. The overall takeaway is to predict a person’s future behavior based on their present and past behavior. One chapter is devoted to the downside of criticism. Criticism begets anger and defensiveness. If one wishes a change in another’s behavior effective feedback might be the best path.

Maximum Influence: 12 Laws of Persuasion by Kurt Mortensen. This book serves as the basis for the AMA (American Management Association) Persuasion and Influence course for which I served as the SME (Subject Matter Expert). Most of the laws are familiar but packaged in a unique way. For example, there is the Law of Obligation aka reciprocity or give and take.

How to Win Friends and Influence Enemies by Dale Carnegie. This was first published in 1936 and republished each 5 year period. The principles still hold true.

Thinking for a Change, John Maxwell, 2014. One chapter is entitled, How to Get People to Like You, which repeats the Dale Carnegie book above.

Give and Take by Adam Grant. Grant looks at negotiation from an economical point of view. He claims that he can show the economic advantage of a person who focuses both on their needs and the needs of others. This is such a great book that my peer teaching at George Mason University School of Law uses this text.

101 Secrets to Negotiating Success: “Surefire strategies for negotiating success in every area of your life by Elaine F. Re, Ph.D. ISBN: 0-9666933-1-0. Canyon Crest Publishing. This is a fun book of excerpts which can be used in teaching and training. 1998, 2003.

Becoming a More Effective Neutral: A Dispute Resolution, Mediation and Skills Building Manual by Prudence Bowman Kestner and Larry Ray.

School Mediation Conflict Management Manual by Prudence Bowman Kestner and Larry Ray.

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