The success rate for a hostage negotiator is up to 94%. Here’s what business negotiators can learn from their techniques.
Former police psychologist and hostage negotiator George A. Kohlrieser, says the key to negotiation success is to build a relationship by creating an emotional connection. When someone feels you are honestly interested in them, they will be much more willing to connect and bond. Out of that bond, negotiation works.
That sounds simple enough, yet few negotiators can imagine scenarios more stressful than the kinds of crisis negotiations a police department hostage negotiator may undertake. But police negotiation techniques employed in high-stakes, high-pressure crisis negotiation situations, are critical for any negotiator faced with high-tension conflicts in business or diplomatic negotiations.
In his book, Stalling for Time: My Life as an FBI Hostage Negotiator (Random House, 2010), Gary Noesner, the retired head of the FBI’s Crisis Negotiation Unit, shares three of his core principles that you and your colleagues can effectively adapt to your own talks.
When you’re trying to gain access to a party who seems to want nothing from you (a situation salespeople often face), you would be wise to build trust through active listening and rapport building with the goal of gaining influence.
Integrate cooperative and competitive strategies throughout the entire negotiation, demonstrating both your goodwill and your resolve.
In business negotiations, deadlines can be useful tools. But when talks are heated, pausing for a break or scheduling a session for another day can give parties time to cool down.
Upset by a delay in the delivery of one of your products, a longtime buyer threatens to turn to the media unless you meet his extreme demands. Not only is the relationship in jeopardy, but your company’s reputation seems to be as well. What should you do? Turn to some tried and true hostage negotiation … Read More
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
For several years, Facebook has been working with social scientists to bring traditional methods of dispute resolution to cyberspace. The site has begun to offer users tools to resolve disputes with one another over offensive or upsetting posts, including insults and photos.
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In multi-issue business negotiations, research suggests that the advantage goes to negotiators with a reputation for collaboration rather than competition. In a series of studies by Catherine H. Tinsley and Kathleen O’Connor, participants were told they would be negotiating with someone who had either a tough reputation, a cooperative reputation, or an unknown reputation. Although … Read More
At the time, it seemed to be an example of coolheaded dealmaking in the midst of disaster. In 2009, hit hard by the 2008 financial crisis and changes in consumer preferences, U.S. automaker Chrysler was on the brink of collapse, and the Treasury Department stepped in to do a deal. In exchange for about $12 … Read How to Negotiate Under Pressure
At the time, it seemed to be an example of coolheaded dealmaking in the midst of disaster. In 2009, hit hard by the 2008 financial crisis and changes in consumer preferences, U.S. automaker Chrysler was on the brink of collapse. The U.S. Treasury Department stepped in to run a crisis negotiation. In exchange for about … Read More
Business negotiations often fail; meanwhile, hostage negotiations have an incredibly high success rate—up to 94%. We spoke with former police psychologist and hostage negotiator George A. Kohlrieser, the Distinguished Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behavior at IMD Business School in Switzerland and the author of Hostage at the Table: How Leaders Can Overcome Conflict, Influence Others, … Read More
After buying a new car, you’re eager to sell your old car. It looks well kept, but you had problems with the engine last winter. Now it’s late summer. Should you tell prospective buyers about the engine, which might or might not act up when the weather turns?
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From a life-and-death hostage situation to the Philippines peace process, Joshua Weiss gives us an insider look at the world’s most high-stakes deals to learn what works—and what doesn’t—in negotiation.
Most negotiations fail because the negotiators involved lack the confidence, strategic knowledge, and the basic techniques required to reach the most optimal deals possible. The result? … Read More
When negotiating a business contract, parties are often so focused on reaching agreement that they don’t think enough about how the deal will unfold after the ink has dried. This type of short-term thinking leads to real problems down the road. The following three business negotiation tips can help you adopt a long-term perspective the … Read More
What do FBI hostage negotiation techniques and business dealmaking have in common? Not a lot, we might assume. In workplace talks, lives are rarely at stake, and tensions seldom escalate into violence. Yet dig a bit deeper, and similarities emerge: just as in a crisis negotiation, business talks can be highly charged, unpredictable, and emotional.
In … Read More
A “one-shot” form of dispute resolution, arbitration is usually faster and cheaper than litigation. In addition, rather than being assigned a judge, parties are able to select their arbitrator.
What is dispute resolution in law and how do alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods like arbitration operate inside and outside a courtroom? Here are some examples of … Read More
The Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School
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