Crisis Negotiations

In examining crisis negotiation, analysts discovered that even the most experienced executives have difficulty resolving a situation that feels like a hostage negotiation. These lessons, taken from crisis negotiation situations and hostage negotiators’ techniques, can help in a variety of crisis negotiation conditions.

For example, hostage negotiators follow certain rules that can be applied to your own crisis negotiation. First, contain the situation by laying down ground rules and limiting the number of opposing parties in the negotiation.

Next, skilled crisis negotiators try to uncover underlying emotional demands, and finally take great pains to build relationships with the opponent. These strategies and more are all a part of successful crisis negotiations.

Even if you don’t aspire to become an actual hostage negotiator, any kind of business negotiation or dealmaking that comes under pressure can be enhanced by taking lessons from hostage negotiation experts. Not unlike integrative negotiators who seek to create value between negotiating counterparts and distributive negotiators who seek to maximize one’s claim to value in the negotiation at hand, hostage negotiators need to be able to “apply a specific set of skills in a strategic manner that is based on the current context.”

The goal of hostage negotiations is to “work with the person in crisis towards a peaceful solution that previously seemed impossible,” or, in other words, to reconcile your counterpart’s problems with the need to maintain the peace for society at large.

Articles included here address many of the tactics hostage negotiators employ, such as opening up avenues for communication, exercising as much patience as possible, employ active listening techniques, show your opponent respect, stay calm, remain self-aware and be prepared to adapt to changing circumstances, even while maintaining the relationships you’ve already built.

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What is Crisis Management in Negotiation?

Katie Shonk   •  06/18/2019   •  Filed in Crisis Negotiations

crisis management

Organizations often establish elaborate business crisis management plans. Through a rapid, centralized response, an organization can shift swiftly and efficiently from day-to-day operations into crisis-management mode, whether that crisis involves a building evacuation, a tumble in the company’s stock price, or a product recall. … Read More 

Famous Negotiations Cases – NBA and the Power of Deadlines at the Bargaining Table

PON Staff   •  05/16/2019   •  Filed in Crisis Negotiations

famous negotiations

It’s a classic famous negotiations case. In the summer of 1988, National Basketball Association (NBA) team owners and players were at loggerheads over their new contract. At midnight on June 30, the owners declared a lockout, halting preparations for the start of the 1998–99 NBA season. The players and owners negotiated for six long months, … Read More 

Police Negotiation Techniques from the NYPD Crisis Negotiations Team

PON Staff   •  11/26/2018   •  Filed in Crisis Negotiations

Negotiation Techniques

Few negotiators can imagine negotiation scenarios more stressful than the kinds of crisis negotiations the New York City Police Department’s Hostage Negotiation Team undertake. But police negotiation techniques employed by the New York City Police Department’s Hostage Negotiations Team (HNT) in high-stakes, high-pressure crisis negotiation situations, outlined in an article from Jeff Thompson and Hugh … Read More 

Crisis Negotiations: After the West Coast Ports Conflict, Damage Remained

Katie Shonk   •  05/14/2018   •  Filed in Crisis Negotiations

crisis negotiations

No one wants to engage in crisis negotiations. When parties need to hurriedly work out a solution to a shared problem, time is short, tempers are frayed, and the disaster is looming. Feeling they’ve exhausted good-faith bargaining, parties in crisis negotiations may believe they face an impossible choice between caving in to the other side’s … Read More 

Negotiation in the News: Order in the Senate, with the help of a simple tool

PON Staff   •  03/31/2018   •  Filed in Crisis Negotiations

With the government on the brink of a shutdown on January 19 due to the Senate’s inability to agree on a spending bill, about 17 centrist Democratic and Republican senators crowded into the Capitol Hill office of Republican senator Susan Collins of Maine. But their common goal—negotiating a deal to end the shutdown—was reportedly thwarted by … Read More 

Negotiating group agreements that last

PON Staff   •  01/31/2018   •  Filed in Crisis Negotiations

NB-feb-2018-featured

When engaged in a complex negotiation or dispute, how should a group come to agreement? Members might separate into factions and fight to have their voices heard. They might take a vote and let the majority rule. Or they can try to negotiate their way to consensus.

There are almost as many ways of making group … Read More 

Beyond slingshots: Better tools for negotiating with Goliaths

PON Staff   •  10/31/2017   •  Filed in Crisis Negotiations

When Alexandra Elbakyan was growing up in Kazakhstan, books, music, and movies were expensive. To access them, she learned how to pirate intellectual property and eventually came to believe that it should be available to all.

After enrolling in graduate school in Russia, Elbakyan began pirating journal articles for herself and other researchers who couldn’t afford … Read More 

Negotiating Controversial Issues

PON Staff   •  04/12/2017   •  Filed in Crisis Negotiations

When you’re trying to negotiate a hot-button issue, what’s the best approach to take? That was the question facing U.S. president Donald Trump as he and his administration attempted to convince the government of Mexico to fund a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, in addition to negotiating other matters of concern to both governments. The … Read More 

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