Derek Gaunt

Derek Gaunt
Derek Gaunt is lecturer, author of Ego, Authority, Failure, and trainer with 29 years of law enforcement experience, 20 of which as a team member, leader and then commander of hostage negotiations teams in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. As a member of the Black Swan Group, he is a negotiation trainer and personal coach. His training has helped leaders and their organizations increase their performance by changing the way they think about communicating one person to another.
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Recent Posts

Negotiation Tactics and Leadership: Why the Two Work Together

By Derek Gaunt | November 15, 2021

Leaders are charged with promoting their organization’s mission and getting people to produce. To influence your direct reports to do what you want without a begrudging attitude, it’s essential to employ hostage negotiation tactics and principles every day.

In the world of hostage negotiation, your goal is to influence hostage-takers to surrender. But you don’t just start the conversation by telling them to give it up. Instead, you approach the surrender in a subordinate manner, ensuring you are not viewed as a threat.  Making a concentrated effort so that the hostage-taker knows you see things from their perspective. Only at that point can you begin to accomplish your objective.

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How to Demonstrate Leadership in a New Role

By Derek Gaunt | September 27, 2021

When they start new roles, some leaders feel tempted to institute changes right away to make an immediate impact.

Unless it’s an emergency, there is no need for it.

This mindset is born from insecurity. All too often, new leaders enter the mix and are worried about how people view them, causing them to try and make their mark on a new role. They are trying to impress, saying to both superiors and subordinates: Look at me.

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5 Ways to Avoid Leadership Failure

By Derek Gaunt | September 20, 2021

Whereas the best leaders can help their teams unlock their full potential, those who fail at leadership doom their teams to suboptimal results, toxic cultures, and overall unpleasantness.

Keep these tips in mind to avoid leadership failure and create an environment that optimizes your team’s productivity.

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Understanding Negotiation Roles and Responsibilities

By Derek Gaunt | July 12, 2021

In every negotiation, there are five distinct roles and responsibilities. 

In an ideal world, you would have five different people playing each of these roles. But in the world of high-stakes negotiations, teams don’t always have that luxury.

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5 Real Estate Negotiation Tips That Will Set You Apart

By Derek Gaunt | April 26, 2021

Many real estate agents use best practices to guide their careers. But when everyone follows the same best practices, they start to become common practices. To outsiders, all agents suddenly look alike.

The good news is that it is possible to set yourself apart from the competition by switching up the way you do business. With that in mind, here are five real estate negotiation tips that can help you stand out from the pack and get to the next level.

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Close the Deal: How to Get an Answer After Being Ghosted

By Derek Gaunt | April 05, 2021

It is a common problem. You’ve locked down a tentative agreement with a counterpart, and the action is supposed to take place by May 1. But it is now June 15, and nothing has happened. They’re not calling you back or responding to your emails, but you still want to close the deal. What do you do?

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Why Negotiation Training is the Best Investment for 2021

By Derek Gaunt | March 08, 2021

These days, people aren’t going to conferences and in-person events anymore, and it appears as though that will remain the case for the foreseeable future. 

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5 Steps to Assess Your Leadership Skills

By Derek Gaunt | January 18, 2021

Many leaders get to the top, think they’ve made it, and stop trying to improve.

The best leaders, on the other hand, understand that leadership is always a work in progress and that they can always sharpen their skills. They understand that toxic leaders are the No. 1 reason people leave their jobs, so they work hard to constantly get better and get their team to trust them more and more.

If your goal is to keep your employees engaged and build a tight-knit team that would go to the ends of the earth for you, cycle through these five steps regularly to keep your eyes on the prize.

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Communication Skills: How to Deliver Bad News

By Derek Gaunt | January 11, 2021

In an ideal world, everything would be rosy, and you’d never have to deliver bad news to your direct reports. But there comes a time when every leader needs to give negative feedback or share news the team doesn’t want to hear. The way you approach these delicate conversations will make all the difference in the world.

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Communication Skills: How Leaders Can Regain Trust

By Derek Gaunt | December 28, 2020

Even though you’re a leader, you’re still a human being—which means that from time to time, you’re going to make mistakes. That’s just the way it is.

Now, making a mistake isn’t the end of the world—even for leaders. But because of their egos, many leaders fail to admit they’ve made any mistakes at all. They’re afraid of looking weak or being viewed as fallible. For some people, an apology is akin to an admission of incompetence.

When leaders don’t accept responsibility for their own individual shortcomings as well as when the team doesn’t perform the way it’s supposed to, relationships with those around them are damaged. 

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