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

The 4 Defining Characteristics of Effective Leadership

By Derek Gaunt | November 25, 2019

Anyone can be a leader. But not every leader is an effective one.

Great organizations are built on the backs of effective leadership. That’s because effective leaders inspire their teams to reach their full potential and can even get them excited to show up to the office every day.

If you’re looking to take your leadership skills to the next level, here are four characteristics that effective leaders possess.

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Leadership Behaviors That the Experts Swear By

By Derek Gaunt | November 18, 2019

Employees don’t quit because they hate their jobs. In large part, they quit because they hate their managers.

On the flip side, great managers have the ability to inspire their teams and encourage their employees to reach their full potential.

But what exactly makes a great leader?

Although there’s no cookie-cutter framework you can follow to become a great leader, here are five behaviors that effective managers engage in.

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How Leadership Failure Can Look Different Than You Might Think

By Derek Gaunt | September 23, 2019

To many, leadership failure looks like a toxic boss scolding their employees and causing a mass exodus.

But true leadership failure comes in other forms.

For example, when organizations don’t understand the value of empathy.

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5 Commonly Overlooked Characteristics of Effective Leadership

By Derek Gaunt | September 09, 2019

Leaders have the power to make or break a company.

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Leadership Intelligence: How Ego and Authority Impact Your Potential

By Derek Gaunt | May 27, 2019

In the world of hostage negotiation, it’s critical to be cognizant of the action imperative—pressure from our superiors to resolve an issue and get results quickly.

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Why You Should Attend a Negotiation Seminar

By Derek Gaunt | April 15, 2019

Are you satisfied with where you are right now? Are you confident that you’re not leaving money on the table? Are you certain that you’re not damaging long-term relationships?

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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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