Holding the Calm: The Secret to Resolving Conflict and Defusing Tension (Paperback)

Holding the Calm: The Secret to Resolving Conflict and Defusing Tension By Hesha Abrams, Ken Blanchard (Foreword by), Colonel Mark Flitton (Foreword by) Cover Image
By Hesha Abrams, Ken Blanchard (Foreword by), Colonel Mark Flitton (Foreword by)
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Holding the Calm is a practical and immediately useful guide that meticulously lays out twenty concrete, easy-to-use tools for defusing tension, settling cases, resolving disputes, and rechanneling arguments.

How do you stop conflict? Settle disputes? Handle someone who is yelling at you, crying, or just won't speak? How do you find a solution when a solution seems impossible? Holding the Calm shares the secrets that enable everyone to avoid, minimize, or resolve conflict.
Popular master mediator Hesha Abrams has tens of thousands of hours in the trenches mediating human conflict, and she shares her pragmatic wisdom in digestible bites that detail how to improve situations and solve difficult problems between human beings, from family and workplace disputes to complex commercial and global conflicts. Learn how to
  • Speak into the ears that hear you 
  • Be the grown-up in the room
  • Listen to what is not said
  • Create small, winnable victories
    Practical, inspirational, and full of accessible tools you can use right now, Holding the Calm proves that you don’t need an advanced degree or certification to minimize challenges and defuse tension between real people, businesses, and countries.

    About the Author

    Hesha Abrams is the founder of Hesha Abrams Mediation and is an internationally renowned mediator who has successfully resolved thousands of cases over the past thirty years, from simple car accidents to multibillion-dollar disputes involving titans of industry. Abrams received a JD from Florida State University College of Law and went on to become a successful trial lawyer. She is the recipient of many awards, including Corporate Counsel’s 2021 top-rated lawyer and the Martindale-Hubbell AV rating. Abrams has spoken at the International Symposium on Negotiation and Conflict Resolution and mediates in countries all over the world.

    Praise For…

    Holding the Calm helps the reader understand the complex dynamic of intractable conflicts. Hesha’s extraordinary breadth of experience is shared in bite-size truths that make practical application very easy. While other books espouse different theories, Holding the Calm unpacks conflict and helps all of us, whether a mediator, negotiator, employer, or even a parent—find practical and creative solutions to difficult situations. It is a must-read and a book that you will want to refer to again and again.”
    —Cindy Hallberlin, Esq., General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer, Digital Health Institute for Transformation
    “You are amazing at what you do and how you approach it—world class, really. This book is an extension of that. Like reading a book from Tiger Woods about putting, Celine Dion about hitting sustained notes, or Steven Spielberg on storytelling, even if they can’t perfectly reproduce the lessons of the master, readers will become better at their craft by studying the master.”
    —Alan Fisch, Esq., Managing Partner, Fisch Sigler, LLP
    “Transcending the courts and offering huge value to business, Hesha smartly delivers wisdom and power gleaned from a lifetime in mediation. All organizations have guards at the gates of change that may be detrimental to growth and value. Though difficult to identify, people, and the processes they control, often reveal themselves only when they draw swords to defend positions or the status quo, regardless of evidence or rational thought. Holding the Calm provides a playbook of techniques leaders can draw upon to help their guards capture new opportunities available to the business while preserving the valuable of the present.”
    —Rod Hightower, former Fortune 500 executive, private equity president, and CEO
    “This isn‘t a book on theory. Hesha Abrams is a boots-on-the-ground mediator focused on what works in the trenches of negotiation warfare. Through decades of experience of trial by fire, Hesha has discovered the secrets to dissolve egos, assuage big personalities, and loosen up those dug-in heels. Holding the Calm shares those lessons in easy-to-read, bite-size chunks. I‘ve highlighted my copy up and down, and will keep it near, for the next time I need to unstick a sticky situation. I want a copy for everyone on my team.”
    —Michael Eddy, Director, Investments and Accountability, Stanford Impact Labs
    “Hesha generously shares the secrets of her extraordinary success as an all-star mediator in Holding the Calm. Her goal is to help us all resolve disputes by understanding how to recognize the human traits in all people that lead to disputes of every kind. Hesha’s gift is the ability to discern the motivation of those who are enmeshed in the cycle of anger, fear, pride, the urge to control, and the tarpit of negative human emotion . . . and how to lead everyone to defuse those triggers with calm and true empathy. She is truly one-of-a-kind who not only does but also teaches.”
    —Hon. Faith S. Hochberg, US District Judge (Ret.) and Principal, Hochberg ADR
    Holding the Calm is such a powerful and important concept and tool that everyone should learn and practice, especially in today‘s environment. Mental health issues have been on the rise in schools. This is a very much-needed skill for students to better navigate their lives and should be in every curriculum.”
    —Dawn Song, Professor, Computer Science, UC Berkeley
    “Hesha is one of the rare people on the planet who was put here with a mission: to use her compassion, intellect, creativity, and talent to help people in conflict find peace. Her work as a mediator and peacemaker has been inspiring to other mediators, and her skill set is beautifully displayed in this very personal and very powerful new book. Hesha speaks from the heart, not just from her brilliant head. Read it and, more importantly, incorporate it into your practice. Her successes are legendary, and her passion is inspiring.”
    —Kay Elliott, Esq., attorney-mediator and coach for ADR advocates, Texas A&M School of Law
    “This book absolutely rocks. We have many colleagues that pen books that are so densely filled with medical or legal terminology or shorthand that they are inaccessible gibberish to the average reader. Then there are the volumes of mystical weirdness that encourage people to hug each other in a cosmic field filled with lavender and Skittles until their chakras fall out. Your book is direct and practical. All readers will learn something new or reimagine their current approach to conflict, regardless of their current skill level. Thank you for unleashing this knowledge into the universe! I’m already waiting for the sequel!”
    —David Aaron DeSoto, Esq., Senior Associate, Mann Law Firm PLLC
    “This book is wonderfully written and should be part of the library of all those who want to expand their knowledge and learn how to engage with conflict. Holding the Calm gives a road map to managing conflict, and the anecdotes and allegories are instrumental. Far too often, books about mediation are stiff and quite frankly dull. On the other hand, Abrams makes the topic down-to-earth, energizing, and revivifying.”
    —Sheryl Jackson-Matthews, MBA, mediator and arbitrator
    “Sometimes it seems like anger, conflict, and aggression define the human condition. Hesha’s book provides the perfect antidote. A must-read for anyone who navigates life’s difficult conversations: mediators, negotiators, salespeople, employees, employers, committee heads—the list is endless. You’re guaranteed to improve your responses and your results!”
    —Sarah Caverhill, Vice President of Sales, The Ken Blanchard Companies, and coauthor of Your Leadership Legacy
    “What a great book! Full of really useful and practical information. Your enthusiasm for your art and passion for helping people find their peace is obvious. My favorite part was ‘How big can we get? How smart, wise, kind, and skillful? I don’t know, I’m not dead yet.’ Love it!”
    —Hilary Rapkin, Esq., Chief Legal Officer, WEX, Inc.
    “As an intellectual property litigator for more than thirty years and manager of attorneys and clients for many of them, I know Hesha is correct that most conflict-focused decision-making typically comes from a place of fear. Once you understand that and the particular fears that are in play, you can use the tools outlined in this terrific book, provided in an easy-to-understand and relatable form, to move difficult people and problems to a successful conclusion. The insights provided in this book are important to understand for anyone dealing in conflict, not just mediators.”
    —Robert Brunelli, Esq., Sheridan Ross PC
    “If everyone were to know what Holding the Calm reveals, the world would be a considerably different place. In crisp and accessible fashion, Holding the Calm sheds light on how to overcome some of the most perplexing issues businesses and humans experience. I laughed, nodded, and underlined text the whole way through.”
    —Chris Gaspar, Esq., Partner, Milbank
    “Hesha Abrams is a tour de force and so, too, is Holding the Calm. Drawing on more than thirty years of high-stakes mediations, Hesha opens the door to exploring the human psyche. And that’s where the real magic is: understanding people, their motivations, their fears, their need for validation, all aimed at the noble calling of finding peace. Let’s hope for a sequel—this writer has more to offer.”
    —Craig Florence, Esq., Partner, Foley & Lardner
    “Hesha pours her wisdom, intuition, and gravitas into this powerful book that pulls back the curtain to reveal some of her extraordinary secrets and skills. Simply put, Hesha is the best mediator in the business. Hesha has polished her abilities to the point where they are truly out-of-this-world great. This real page-turner of a book is jam-packed full of her experiences and anecdotal stories and contains important information for any lawyer who wants to better serve clients through meaningful negotiation advocacy.”
    —Dawn Estes, Esq., Partner, Estes Thorne Carr
    “In this book, Hesha extracts from her wealth of mediation experiences key lessons and skills for mediators, mediation advocates, and negotiators. The book delivers that information in a self-help, easy-to-digest style that captures the reader’s attention and invites thoughtful consideration without getting bogged down in lots of verbiage.”
    —Harrie Samaras, Esq., President, ADR Office of Harrie Samaras
    “Just read Hesha’s Holding the Calm in one sitting. How refreshing that we have a book that lays out some of the most successful ways to bridge gaps and bring people together with the goal of striking a deal. I can’t wait to order dozens of her book for all my lawyer friends and fellow general counsel colleagues.”
    —John Harvey, Esq., General Counsel, Innovation First International
    “Hesha Abrams has given the community a tome of serious, practical advice with interjected humor. A tome is, by definition, a heavy, serious book. Her tome is light in length but heavy in suggestions to make the magic of conflict resolution work. I am still experimenting with her suggestion of the difference between could and would. It is a good, quick read to encourage us in some of the darkest hours to use this process.”
    —Cecilia Morgan, Esq., JAMS panelist and ADR professional
    “Hesha Abrams is, by far, the best mediator I have ever appeared before. And her new book is, by far, the best book on conflict resolution I have ever read.”
    —Howard A. Kroll, Esq., Partner, Tucker Ellis LLP
    “Hesha’s ‘tools for your toolbox,’ so to speak, offer helpful pathways to consider when hopelessly stuck and looking for traction. Great work—I will be shamelessly adopting ideas from your book in mediations down the road!”
    —Mark W. Sims, Past President, Texas Association of Mediators
    “Hesha has created a toolbox based on her decades of experiential knowledge, compassion, and empathy working with high-conflict issues and individuals. Holding the Calm is a gift full of guidance, advice, and helpful tips to bring peace in the midst of the storm. I particularly enjoyed the chapter on situational awareness—read the room!”
    —Danette J. Ross Watson, Executive Director, West Texas Community Mediation Center, and President, Texas Association of Mediators
    “I want to express my appreciation of, and admiration for, Holding the Calm, and the best way to do this is to vote with my pocketbook, and to that end I’d like to preorder twenty-five copies. In a profession defined by conflict, complexity, and change, few mediators have a North Star to guide them as the settlement process reaches its darkest point. Holding the Calm—filled with stories, quotes, and perspectives no one can forget—will be that North Star to many of us going forward.”
    —John DeGroote, Esq., attorney-mediator
    “I read your book during my flight to Seattle and back. Your style is so unique and your advice so specific—just about no one else does that. And if anyone else does do it, they do not do it with the skill, tenacity, wisdom, and imagination that you bring to the table. It’s really good! It presents important and very useful ideas, and mediators and advocates will certainly benefit from it. Outstanding!”
    —Arthur Chaykin, mediator
    “I already knew firsthand that Hesha delivers as a world-class mediator. I didn’t know whether she was any good at teaching. She’s apparently great at that too. This book is filled with wisdom and offers tools that I wish every mediator had. It also provides important insights to litigators, who are in a constant negotiation during the life of their cases, not just when mediating.”
    —Jeff Eichmann, Esq., Partner, Dovel and Luner
    “Congratulations on a fine work. I believe you have really created a work of art. I loved the many examples as well as the stories. I am one of those people who learn though others’ experiences. Thank you for creating this for all of us.”
    —Don Swift, mediator
    “Don’t be fooled by this easy, fun read by a master mediator and deal maker. Beneath the surface lies pattern recognition and insight from decades in the trenches of strident conflict informed by recent advances in social and brain science. This brilliant book sits at the corner of theory and practice, ready to improve your game on Monday.”
    —Don Philbin, Jr. JD, MBA, LLM, Curator, ADR Toolbox
    “The book contains so much wisdom, advice, and encouragement that it is worth reading again and again and again. It’s needed and important! The book is light (a good thing) and intelligent. Thanks for sharing at so many different levels.”
    —Gene Roberts, Jr., Esq., Director, Student Legal & Mediation Services, Sam Houston State University
    “Hesha explains her performance-based strategies in Holding the Calm in an easy-to-understand and easy-to-apply way. Hesha’s techniques provide a special awareness of people that help lead to successful outcomes.”
    —Judy Eddy, Educator, American Association of University Women
    “All the anecdotes, historical notations, and personal stories kept me engaged from beginning to end. I did feel like we were sitting across from each other chatting away. I was recently thinking about the post office and all the current chaos, and it reminded me about the past shootings and how we haven’t had any there. Thank you for explaining why!”
    —Lisa Rogy, Business Practice Manager, Back on Point Wellness Dr. Kim Chiropractic, Inc.
    Product Details
    ISBN: 9781523001934
    ISBN-10: 1523001933
    Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers
    Publication Date: July 26th, 2022
    Pages: 208
    Language: English