Blog: The Negotiation Edge

The 3 Most Common Negotiation Mistakes


  1. You don’t let “moments” happen
  2. You negotiate against yourself
  3. You don’t play “the short game”

#1 – You don’t let “moments” happen

Empathy: A Missionary & Mercenary Skill

The reason I try to make it a point to use empathy in all negotiations and most conversations is because I have had the luxury of experiencing how powerful it is. Simply put, I use empathy because it works. Not because I am sympathetic to my counterpart or feel their pain. Not because I am going out of my way to be manipulative. Not because my father is a retired hostage negotiator, although that does in fact have a lot to do with why I know how to use empathy effectively. No matter what the situation, even if it is impossible for a deal to be made, a proper display of empathy causes my counterpart to go the extra mile for me.

Are We Losing Ground?

Are we regressing to the 1980’s when it comes to hostage-barricade management? I fear we are. What I will share with you this month is anecdotal. My gut is telling me that negotiators are at risk of being marginalized to an extent not seen in 20 years because of a failure to realize their value to the hostage- barricade management process. It is based on casual observations as well as conversations that I have had with those within the discipline at the local, state, and federal level. I can point to two reasons for this “backsliding”; selection of inexperienced decision-makers to manage critical incidents and the reduction in the number of hostage-barricade incidents to which law enforcement responds.