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

How to Gain Leverage During a Negotiation

In a negotiation, having leverage means that you hold a perceived advantage that could give you the upper hand in achieving the agreement you desire.

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5 Crucial Tips For Getting Past The Gatekeeper

Getting past the gatekeeper, the screener, the blocker or whatever term you give them has been a challenge...forever. Their job is to insulate and vet for the decision-maker. In hostage-takings involving multiple actors, it is not uncommon for the negotiator to be speaking with someone other than the guy in charge. Whether it’s a hostage or another bad guy, someone within the crisis site will be...

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Labeling...It's Not Just For Emotions Anymore

Emotion labeling was developed as a part of the Active Listening Skillset in the area of psychotherapy in the 1950’s. It is defined as the tentative attachment of an observation to the emotions implied by a person’s words, actions, or demeanor. Adopted for use in law enforcement in the mid-1980s, it is one of the most powerful tools in a hostage negotiators toolbox. 

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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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