Blog: The Negotiation Edge

An FBI Hostage Negotiator Teaches You the “F” Word in Negotiations

What is the “f-word”? – “Fair”

Bang. That’s it. When the “F” bomb – “fair” – gets thrown in a negotiation things have just gotten emotional.

“Wait...haven’t they always been emotional?”

Ok, true. In reality, it’s impossible to make a decision without your own personal interplay of what you value. You value things based on what you care about and that makes “value” by definition an emotional concept. If you follow that line of reasoning then every decision requires emotion.

3 Coaches/3 Negotiator Types – Which are you?

It is football season again and I couldn’t be happier. I also can’t help but see how the things we teach about negotiation are incorporated in all forms of life, including football. At BSG we teach that there are 3 negotiator types: Analyst, Accommodator, and Assertive. With the start of this year’s season, I’ve been thinking about how negotiator types play a role in coaching. There are three teams and their coaches that stood out: The San Francisco 49ers – Jim Harbaugh, The New England Patriots – Bill Belichick, and The Seattle Seahawks – Pete Carroll. Even if you aren’t a football fan there is still a good chance you have heard of these teams. All three coaches have been very successful in the NFL and all three have completely different coaching styles that stem from their negotiator type.

Slow Your Role

“Stay away from Mom”. “Where is gun?” “Afraid?” “Not gonna do it.” “What is stopping…?” “Wife here.” These are samples of actual “sticky notes” passed from Coach to Primary during a negotiation. The Coach was constantly writing on the Post-it pad and slamming a note down in front of the Primary. The Primary, sitting behind the ever increasing pile of “sticky notes” was showing the signs of note fatigue. When the Coach was questioned about this, he said, “I thought that was my job.”