Derek Gaunt

Derek Gaunt
Derek Gaunt is a seasoned negotiator and leader. With 23 years of experience, Derek has commanded and trained police department hostage negotiation teams. Derek handles for law enforcement, military and security training.
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Recent Posts

Did You Know There Are 5 Levels of Listening?

    Most people who think they are good listeners underperform. There is some research that suggests they do so by as much as 60%.  This overconfidence impedes their success as it prevents them from truly understanding the motivation of the other side.Nothing puts a relationship in jeopardy faster than poor listening. Husband, wife, son, daughter, boss or subordinate, people do not take long to...

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Why Are We Still Talking About This?

  Google “Leadership Emotional Intelligence” and marvel at the number of hits on books, articles, and blog posts that have been produced. Not a week goes by without a new offering espousing the importance of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and interpersonal communication for business leaders. 

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Man or Woman...Who Is Your Primary?

As I reflected on my time as commander of my former agency’s Hostage Negotiations Team, I realized that eight of the 15 negotiators was a woman. It was not necessarily by design. It was just the way it shook out. They competed for the spots and outperformed other candidates; male and female.

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Negotiating Within The Negotiations

The Incident Commander (IC) is brand new. He has spent the last three years as a sergeant in the Property and Evidence section. He was promoted to sergeant four years prior and spent one year running a squad before being transferred to Property and Evidence. Two months ago he competed for and was ultimately promoted to lieutenant.

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Using The Power of Silence To Get More

Falling silent, also known as the effective pause, is a powerful tool to use during interpersonal communication. It is a skill in which you intentionally create a void in the dialogue, before or after saying something meaningful, to entice the other side to continue talking and perhaps expound on a point they were trying to make. It is arguably the most underutilized listening skill. Sometimes,...

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Are You The Favorite or The Fool?

Two weeks ago I coached a client before an upcoming negotiation. His company had been engaged in a relationship with a prospect for over a year that was based on assumptions that were never tested. My client is a real estate developer. The prospect was a potential tenant. The potential tenant provided a Letter of Interest as well as personally expressing their interest in leasing from my client....

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Bridging the Gap: Why Hostage Negotiation Is Successful In Business

Last week, I was presenting basic negotiations concepts to a group of CEOs and senior managers. About 45 minutes into our talk, one of the participants asked if I was going to draw a correlation or otherwise explain how hostage negotiations techniques apply to the business world. 

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2 Techniques To Fend Off An Attack

Have you ever been in a difficult conversation where the other person appears intent on pulling you into an argument or trading personal attacks? We all have. When under attack during a difficult conversation our default response is to attack back. This is especially true when the attack appears out of nowhere, is irrational or personal. It evokes emotion.

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Like Seeing A Unicorn

Sebastian had spent most of the late morning into the early afternoon, one day in July, being exposed to the Black Swan method of labels and mirrors. Having already read “Never Split the Difference,” he was anxious to see and hear the practical application of the skills. Turns out, Sebastian was a quick study. As soon as the class concluded, he was chomping at the bit to see if the skills would...

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Do You Get It?

At the Black Swan Group, our instructors have been spreading the gospel of empathy and the techniques used to demonstrate it for years. We have trained thousands of people all over the globe on how to apply techniques developed in the world of hostage negotiations to business and other personal interactions. Of those thousands, as an instructor, I wonder at times how many don’t get it? 

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