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Holding the Calm:
The Secret to Resolving Conflict and Defusing Tension
“At a time when the world is struggling with a global pandemic and conflict seems to be a national sport, Hesha Abrams’ Holding the Calm is like a gift from on high. The more we learn to resolve conflicts constructively, the better off all of us will be. Drawing on the negotiating skills she learned as a nationally acclaimed mediator, Hesha has written a guide that offers simple-to-understand tools and techniques anyone can use to resolve disagreements before they become full-scale wars.”
Coauthor of The One Minute Manager™ and Leading at a Higher Level
“Dealing with personal arguments, command disputes, business conflicts, or even hostage matters, all of which involve human beings, Holding the Calm is key to a successful outcome. This book is a must read if you want to truly understand and master the world of conflict management. Read it now!”
Colonel Mark S. Flitton
United States Army Psychological Operations Command
“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 the 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 Compliance Officer
Digital Health Institute for Transformation NYC
“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, or Celine Dion about hitting sustained long notes, or Steven Spielberg on story telling – even if one can’t perfectly reproduce the lessons of the master, the reader will become better at their craft by studying the master.”
Alan Fisch, Esq.
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 hold guards to 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 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.“
Past Fortune 500 executive, Private Equity President, 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-sized 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.”
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
U.S. District Judge (ret.)
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."
Professor, Computer Science
“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-coach for ADR advocates
Texas A&M School of Law
“This book absolutely rocks. We have so 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. Every reader 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.
Mann Law Firm PLLC
“This book is wonderfully written and should be part of anyone’s library who wants to expand their knowledge and learn how to engage with conflict. Holding the Calm gives a roadmap 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
“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!”
Vice President Sales,
The Ken Blanchard Companies
Co-Author 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: 'So how BIG can we get? How Smart, How Wise, How Kind, How Skillful? I don’t know, I’m not dead yet.' LOVE IT!!”
Hilary Rapkin, Esq.
Chief Legal Officer Wex, Inc., Portland, Maine
“As an intellectual property litigator for more than 30 years and manager of attorneys and clients for many of them, Hesha is correct that most conflict focused decision making typically comes from a place of fear. Once one understands 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.
New York, NY
“Hesha Abrams is a tour de force and so too is Holding the Calm. Drawn from 30+ 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.
Foley & Lardner
“Hesha pours her wisdom, intuition, and gravitas into this powerful book which 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 their clients through meaningful negotiation advocacy.”
Dawn Estes, Esq.
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.
ADR Office of Harrie Samaras, Pennsylvania
"Just read Hesha's Holding the Calm during 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 in the goal of striking a deal. I can't wait to order dozens of her book for all of my lawyer friends and fellow general counsel colleagues."
John Harvey, Esq.
General Counsel Innovation First International, Dallas, TX
“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 of the use of 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.
Tucker Ellis LLP, Los Angeles, CA
"Hesha’s ‘tools for the 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
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
Texas Association of Mediators, President
“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 25 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, Dallas, TX
“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!”
Mediator, KC, Kansas
“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.
Dovel and Luner, Santa Monica, CA
“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.”
Mediator, Wichita Falls/Dallas, TX
“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
“I’ve attended a training where you presented, and I could hear you while reading. 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, Huntsville, TX
"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."
Educator, American Association of University Women
“All the antidotes, 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 with all the chaos currently surrounding them, and it reminded me about the past shootings and how we haven't had any. Thank you for explaining why!”
Director of Clinics, Los Angeles, CA
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