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

Five Key Components of Effective Negotiation

By Derek Gaunt | September 04, 2018

No matter the context or the stakes, every effective negotiation strategy relies on these five factors. Are you effectively using all five?

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5 Negotiation Techniques That Work

By Derek Gaunt | August 06, 2018

Our work and personal lives are filled with negotiations. Some are small negotiations, such as what movie to watch or who should be responsible for washing the dishes. Other negotiations are high-stakes, like major business deals or funding procurement. While losing your movie choice isn’t likely to have a lasting impact, negotiating key business deals can directly affect your organizational viability, growth potential, and job security. Believe it or not, both types of negotiations involve the same basic skills. Practicing those skills is the key to becoming more effective when it matters most. No matter what type of negotiation you’re facing, these five tried and true techniques will improve your likelihood of success.

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How to Gain Leverage During a Negotiation

By Derek Gaunt | July 17, 2018

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

By Derek Gaunt | July 02, 2018

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 assigned to talk, similar to the gatekeepers in the business world. Whether it’s an assistant, a real estate agent, buyer or purchaser, often you will have to talk to people who do not carry the authority to make the decision to which you want a response before you get to the person who makes the final decisions. How do you get past them? Keeping in mind these considerations will help.

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

By Derek Gaunt | June 11, 2018

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?

By Derek Gaunt | May 14, 2018

 

 

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 estimate your commitment to listening, especially when 93% of communication is wrapped up in physical syntax and delivery. Given this percentage, it is not easy to convince someone else that you are listening if in fact you are not.

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Why Are We Still Talking About This?

By Derek Gaunt | April 09, 2018

 

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?

By Derek Gaunt | March 12, 2018
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. Read More >

Negotiating Within The Negotiations

By Derek Gaunt | February 12, 2018

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

By Derek Gaunt | January 22, 2018

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, even though it is in our best interest, we find it difficult just to shut up.

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