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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3 Ways to Negotiate Like a Black Swan

By Brandon Voss | June 25, 2018

One definition of negotiation that can be found in a dictionary is "a focused comparison of ideas/results," which to me is a sophisticated way of saying an argument over issues.

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How To Easily Improve Your Negotiation Skills Every Day

By Chris Voss | June 18, 2018

“Do the homework, and the test is easy.” Dr. Jeff Spencer

You need about 63-65 repetitions of use of a skill to build the neural pathway, so its use is comfortable, to put you on the path to mastery. But how? Where can you get your low stakes practice for your high stakes performance?

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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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How To Make A Counter-Proposal?

By Brandon Voss | May 28, 2018



When responding to any counter-proposal, you need to make sure you don’t let yourself get sucked into the sequential move game. In a sequential move game with “evenly” matched players, as a second mover, you can only tie or lose. Are you interested in a more complicated game of tick tack toe?

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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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The #1 Way to Perfect This Key Skill

By Chris Voss | May 07, 2018

This is also the #1 way to deal with everyone who wants to suck up your time on the phone, from colleagues to cold-calling sales-people with “Have you got a few minutes to talk?”

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The 3 Best Tactics To Not Name Price First

By Chris Voss | April 16, 2018

When someone asks you “How much?”, what’s the worst thing you can do?

Answer with a price.

The traditional wisdom is “He (or she) who names a price first loses.” The academics will advise you the opposite! They say seize the initiative and set the price range with an anchor!

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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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How to Gain Control in a Negotiation in 4 Steps

By Chris Voss | April 02, 2018

The secret to gaining the upper hand in negotiation is to give the other side the illusion of control.  If knowledge is power, what you really want to gain is knowledge in the interaction without really giving much information away. 

Here’s how to flip the control dynamic on it’s head and enjoy the process. 

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