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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Power Tactics in Negotiation: How to Gain Leverage with Stronger Parties

PON Staff   •  01/30/2023   •  Filed in Crisis Negotiations

Notable Negotiations

When the other side seems to have all the power in a negotiation, what should you do? In recent years, that question has been an urgent one for many universities and libraries negotiating subscription agreements with the academic publishers that produce peer-reviewed scientific research journals. Confronted with skyrocketing pricing demands, several of these institutions have … Learn More About This Program 

“No One is Really in Charge” Hostage Taking and the Risks of No-Negotiation Policies

PON Staff   •  12/12/2022   •  Filed in Crisis Negotiations

In the business world, we sometimes are tempted to avoid negotiating with people or groups we view to be immoral, untrustworthy, or simply unlikable. Imagine a counterpart who works in a business that you believe to be immoral, someone who has a reputation for gossiping about colleagues, or a longtime client who routinely falls back on hardball … Learn More About This Program 

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

William Fairfield   •  10/06/2022   •  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, … Learn More About This Program 

What is Crisis Management in Negotiation?

Katie Shonk   •  06/14/2022   •  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 What is Crisis Management in Negotiation? 

Negotiating Controversial Issues in Difficult Negotiations

PON Staff   •  08/12/2021   •  Filed in Crisis Negotiations

difficult negotiations

When you’re trying to negotiate a hot-button issue in difficult negotiations, 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 … Learn More About This Program 

Negotiation in the News: Last Negotiating Moves From A Never-Boring President

PON Staff   •  01/31/2021   •  Filed in Crisis Negotiations

Whether they love him or hate him, one thing negotiation analysts and practitioners should be able to agree on is that outgoing U.S. president Donald Trump has provided fascinating negotiations to examine and learn from over the past four years. His dealmaking both at home and abroad has been marked by impulsive, sometimes head- scratching decisions; … Learn More About This Program 

Police Negotiation Techniques from the NYPD Crisis Negotiations Team

PON Staff   •  11/16/2020   •  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 … Learn More About This Program 

Negotiating Change During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Katie Shonk   •  05/04/2020   •  Filed in Crisis Negotiations

negotiating with zoom

Many actions that could help alleviate the Covid-19 pandemic require us to change our behavior on a personal level, such as staying home from work and wearing a mask in public places. Others, such as making coronavirus-related research more widely available, require more organizational and systemic change.

But humans often resist change; we are negotiating change … Read Negotiating Change During the Covid-19 Pandemic 

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