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.
Find me on:

Recent Posts

Just Talk To Him

MOREPIES.  It’s the acronym developed by the Crisis Negotiations Unit of the FBI in order to help negotiators remember the eight skills in the Active Listening Skill (ALS) set.  

READ POST

It's All Fun And Games, Until Someone Gets Hurt

In the late 1980’s, several deaths of mentally ill persons attributed to the Memphis Police Department (MPD) resulted in a change in tactics for how law enforcement handled these types of cases.  MPD corrected the problem by partnering with the mental health community. The partnership led to the establishment of Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT) within MPD.

READ POST

Hostage Or Non-Hostage? That is The Question

“Ma’am, here’s what we know so far.  Suspect, John Doe of Any Address, is holding his estranged wife, Jane Doe against her will.  Apparently, Doe is an alcoholic who is prone to violence against Jane when he is drunk.  This is what led her to get the Protective Order against him.  The PO prohibits him from coming within 500 feet of her and their son, Sam.  He showed up today at her home to ‘talk...

READ POST

Getting You From Rapport To Influence

We have written about the importance of active listening to demonstrate empathy in order to establish a bond or rapport with the other side of a difficult conversation. But, not much has been said about techniques that can help us move from rapport to influencing behavioral change. Whether business or crisis negotiations (to some there is no distinction), behavioral change is our ultimate goal.

READ POST

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.

READ POST

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...

READ POST

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.

READ POST

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.

READ POST

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!

READ POST

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.

READ POST