It’s time for my annual gift-getting list of top books for dispute resolution practitioners who want to learn more about building, managing and leading successful private practices.
Some of these books make you a better business owner. Some of them make you a better marketer. Some of them make you a better mediator. All of them make you think and inspire action. Not all were published in 2010 but all remained firmly in the public and business consciousness this year because they’re simply that good.
- A is for Asshole: The Grownups’ ABCs of Conflict Resolution by Victoria Pynchon – You no doubt know or know of Vickie already, fellow mediator and blogger, big thinker, all-around smart woman. Read my review of her delightful book here.
- Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error by Kathryn Shulz – An intriguing, engrossing foray into “why we find it so gratifying to be right and so maddening to be mistaken,” this one’s important reading for every mediator, everywhere.
- Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely – I bought this to read on a flight and found it so compelling I didn’t want to stop reading and wished the flight would last longer!
- Rework by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson – I’m a huge fan of the software Jason Fried creates over at 37signals (and a long-term Highrise user for client relationship management) and I like the way he thinks. If you think building a successful ADR business means stodgy business plans, strategic planning and complicated marketing, you’ll find this book freeing.
- Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip Heath & Dan Heath – The Heath brothers’ first book, Made to Stick, was a game-changer and this one is, too. If you’re a mediator who’s found it hard to trade out your old business and marketing habits for better ones, this book’s for you.
- The Contrarian Effect: Why It Pays (Big) to Take Typical Sales Advice and Do the Opposite by Michael Port – Michael keynoted the Mediation Business Summit put on earlier this year by Amanda Bucklow and me and he’s the real deal. In fact, don’t just read this book, read all of this New York Times bestselling author’s works.
- Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? by Seth Godin – Ostensibly about making yourself indispensable in the workplace, this book is about much more – it’s about making yourself indispensable in business, too. Buy it, read it, do it.
- Well, ok. Let’s make it eight: Making Mediation Your Day Job by yours truly. There’s still time to get a signed copy for the holidays!