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

When It Goes Bad, It Goes Bad Quickly (Part 2)

Let’s imagine for a moment that your team does not deploy negotiators on high-risk warrant service as was advocated in Part 1 of this series and the warrant service is compromised at the breach. Having tactical operators versed in the basics of crisis negotiation can be an effective stop-gap measure until your negotiators can respond.

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When It Goes Bad, It Goes Bad Quickly (Part 1)

Sunrise is about an hour away. SWAT has silently contained the target location. Their stack is at the front door, ready to execute a “no-knock”, high risk warrant on a violent felon. Forced entry is made as the suspect is coming out of the bathroom toward the rear of the home. He is challenged as he retreats to a bedroom and slams the door shut. He responds to the officers’ yelling by firing...

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How to Handle Difficult Conversations

Difficult conversations or manipulative tactics can be deal makers or deal breakers, depending on the stage of the negotiations, the relationships of the parties, and the ability to use or thwart manipulative tactics. This article identifies barrier tactics and how to defuse their effects.

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The Power of the Label

At a conference last week I was extolling the value of the label among other active listening skills. The next morning a participant told me he had taken what I said to heart and decided to try it, via email, with an employee.

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Negotiator Spotlight: Byron Sage

Our goal at The Black Swan Group is to help negotiators improve. One of the more effective ways of getting better is listening to advice and anecdotes from those who have “been there, done that”. From time to time we will highlight discussions with current and retired negotiators. Enjoy our spotlight on Byron Sage!

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What’s Your Position?

I was speaking with a relatively new negotiator the other day who said, “LT, I spoke to several people at the conference and none of them said they use a Negotiations Position Paper (NPP).” Most, he said, had not heard of it. I told him that while I was disappointed, I was not surprised because most teams have not had their value explained to them.

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Our Role In a Terrorist Event

“The enemy uses the best negotiator he has, who is normally very sly, and knowledgeable in human psychology. He is capable of planting fear in the abductors’ hearts, in addition to discouraging them”. These words are from Issue 10 of the Mu’ Askar Al Battar: A Terrorist Training Manual. As negotiators, they are expecting us. We should be preparing for them.

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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...

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Sun Tzu Would Agree With Hillary

Last week, during a speech at Georgetown University, Secretary Hillary Clinton advocated, “…showing respect, even for one’s enemies. Trying to understand and, insofar as psychologically possible, empathize with their perspective and point of view…” As expected a significant number of pundits, professional and otherwise, pounced on her. The statement was dubbed, inane, naïve, and even a sign she...

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Derek’s Favorites (The Edge Year 1)

September 2013

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