Traditionally speaking negotiation is seen as a focused comparison of ideas/results, which in my eyes is a sophisticated way of saying an argument over issues. One of the first orders of business for us as consultants is to get clients out of this approach. More often than not a negotiation begins with one side stating what their issues are and what they want. Next the other side does the same thing. In the end if a deal is made both sides have a tendency to meet in the middle.Read More >
Hostage and crisis negotiators are some of the best influencers in the world. Our success depends on our ability to move people. To get them to do or not do something they were initially unwilling to. Influencing is our job. Hostage/barricade incidents provide many occasions where a member of the negotiations team needs to influence not only what is occurring within the crisis site but what is occurring outside. Some of the most intense negotiations occur not between the primary negotiator and the “bad guy” but within the crisis management team. We are, or at least should be, using empathy to influence other members of the crisis management team into adopting a specific course of action, impacting their ideas, opinions, and willingness to do what we want. This is otherwise known as negotiating within the negotiation. As such, the same skills we rely on when “on the phone” are the same ones we should rely on when we have to conduct a negotiation within the negotiation.Read More >
I needed to call one of my credit card company’s customer service personnel to get a late charge (and interest penalties) waived. The charges were legitimate and completely due to an oversight on my part. Two days earlier I had paid the account balance in full.
As the FBI’s former lead international kidnapping negotiator, I teach a business negotiation course at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business in the M.B.A. program. I consistently apply hostage negotiation principles to my business and personal negotiations to gain an edge and to leave my counterparts feeling good about dealing with me.
Here are the rules:Read More >
#1 – The Rule of 3
#2 – Follow-up with “What? & “How?” to insure it’s real.
If you are involved in business you will have most certainly experienced a situation where there was an effort made to come to an agreement with another party. Unfortunately, there is also a good chance that you have gotten a “yes” from one or more counterparts and later found out it was a “no”.Read More >
Sheriff’s Deputies were attempting to serve an eviction notice on an individual who responded by firing four rifle rounds from a window. While he swore he was not aiming at them, that fact was lost on the deputies as they high-tailed it to safer ground.
The suspect called the police and said his life was terrible and that he wanted to speak with someone. A negotiator called his cell phone and he explained to the negotiator that he was just looking for help. Positive sign, right?Read More >
Rule #3: Exit gracefully!Read More >
As I read and hear about the accounts and comments regarding the release of Bowe Bergdahl, I am struck by the hand-wringing over the question of whether or not we should negotiate against terrorists. There are those who stand strongly on the side of NEVER and a growing number believing we should. The NEVER crowd suffers from antiquated thinking and fails to understand hostage negotiations and recovery is constantly evolving. It is constantly evolving because we are more flexible than ever in our approach in resolving incidents. This flexibility is a byproduct of our willingness to learn from each mission, incident or job we (or someone else) handle. As someone much smarter than me wrote in an article recently, each critical incident that we have handled is a prelude to the next. If we, as negotiators maintained the status quo of how we were trained and operated in the early 1970s I would venture to say that our success rate would not be as high as it is today.Read More >
I teach a negotiation course at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business in the M.B.A. program. If you’re in my course then you’re probably in the Evening Program. (I do teach some classes in the full-time day program. The students are a little younger and a little bit less experienced than the Evening Program students – but very, very sharp nonetheless.) If you’re in the Evening Program you’re in your late 20’s to early 30’s in age. You have a full time job and you’re getting your M.B.A. at night. You may have small children. What this means is that you’re an extremely capable mid-level executive who is a rising star. Pretty cool people and fun to teach.Read More >
Everyone pretty much knows the old saying about assumptions making a you know what out of both you and your counterpart. While personally I am not much of a fan of this old cliché, I have to admit I do agree somewhat with the logic behind it. The real problem with assumptions is that they lead to some sort of movement or action that ends up having a very negative affect on a given situation.Read More >