Book Note: “A is for Asshole: The Grownups’ ABCs of Conflict Resolution”

I expect I could count on the fingers of one hand the times I’ve gone off-message and blogged about something other than contract drafting and the contract process. Add this post to that short list.

This evening I drove east on Jericho Turnpike, a few miles from my Long Island home, to see Vickie Pynchon—author, lawyer, mediator, negotiation trainer, and consultant—who was speaking at an event organized by the Long Island Center For Business and Professional Women.

Vickie Pynchon and some guy who showed up at a women’s networking event

I didn’t stick around. It wasn’t so much that I wasn’t in the target demographic—my aim was simply to say hi to Vickie, whom I’ve corresponded with sporadically over the years. I pretty much keep to myself in my Lawn Guyland suburban fastness, but when for once someone I know—particularly someone as fun as Vickie—strays into my backyard, it would have been churlish not to to take advantage of the opportunity. We chatted agreeably for a few minutes before her gig; I have the photo at left to prove it.

We’ve actually been out of touch for the past year, I suspect because we’ve both been embarking on new projects—check out Vickie’s website her dizzying range of activities. What brought her to mind recently was the complimentary copy I received of her new book, A is for Asshole: The Grownups’ ABCs of Conflict Resolution. (Click here for the book’s website.)

The book is what the title suggests it is: an imaginative and candid introduction to conflict resolution fit in an A-to-Z framework. It’s a pleasure to read, as it’s free of the dead hand of write-like-a-lawyer prose. Anyone, whatever their background, who is interested in getting a sense of what’s involved in resolving disputes would find A is for Asshole a good place to start.

Incidentally, reading the book made me realize that although I certainly face my share of challenges, conflict is not one of them. I guess that’s one of the advantages of being your own boss.


About the author

Ken Adams is the leading authority on how to say clearly whatever you want to say in a contract. He’s author of A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting, and he offers online and in-person training around the world. He’s also chief content officer of LegalSifter, Inc., a company that combines artificial intelligence and expertise to assist with review of contracts.

1 thought on “Book Note: “A is for Asshole: The Grownups’ ABCs of Conflict Resolution””

  1. Hello Kenneth, I t was a pleasure to meet you at the LI Center’s event. Thanks for coming by. I have to say however that while I’m my own boss as well (most of the time) my conflict comes in every day negotiations. The daily entrepreneurial grind. I endorsed the book, and I have worked with Vickie. That being said, as you mention, it’s void of the legaleeze that we dread which makes it a fun read.


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