Sign up FAST! Login

6 Hostage Negotiation Techniques That Will Get You What You Want |

Stashed in: Emotion, Empathy, Negotiation, @bakadesuyo, Awesome

To save this post, select a stash from drop-down menu or type in a new one:

Great article Eric!!!

Yes, this is one of Eric's best. Some notes from a past version of this article:

Good stuff!

Hi Patricia! Which part did you like best?

There are SO MANY good techniques in this article -- pauses, mirroring, paraphrasing, encouragers -- but by far my favorite is emotional labeling:

A good use of emotional labeling would be “You sound pretty hurt about being left. It doesn’t seem fair.” because it recognizes the feelings without judging them.

It is a good Additive Empathetic response because it identifies the hurt that underlies the anger the woman feels and adds the idea of justice to the actor’s message, an idea that can lead to other ways of getting justice.

A poor response would be “You don’t need to feel that way. If he was messing around on you, he was not worth the energy.” It is judgmental. It tells the subject how not to feel. It minimizes the subject’s feelings, which are a major part of who she is. It is Subtractive Empathy.

I thought the reminder about keeping empathy in mind was great advice.  So many times when people are negotiating, they are only thinking about what is in it for them.  The other person picks up on their bad intentions, and immediately it becomes confrontational.  If you truly come into a negotiation wanting both people to benefit, the outcome is so much better.  It also puts you in a good position should you need to negotiate with that person again in the future.  And, neither person has to leave with a smarmy feeling! 

That's true, if there's a balance of power. If you have much less power than the party you're negotiating with, it's a lot harder for you to have empathy for them, because you have to protect yourself!

I agree it's much harder when the imbalance is there, but I think if you can still have empathy with where they're coming from you might be able to better figure out what angle to take.  Now that I think about it, I can't remember where I read it (so don't quote me on this), but I think I read something to the effect that if you try to cognitively  determine where the person is coming from as opposed to empathizing with them on an emotional level, you tend to have better outcomes in negotiations. maybe I take back what I said in my last post!

Patricia, ha! To finish your thought: sometimes the other side of a negotiation is coming from a place where they have enough power to push what they want without much resistance in the negotiation.

In that case, empathy for them doesn't help anything except to understand why they employ that power that way.

Elements of NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) is partly what Voss is describing here.  And that communication discipline offers a much clearer framework for understanding and mastering the art of persuasion.  

And this book below, in under 100 pages, is the best one out there for covering the NLP framework in a cogent, non-self promoting style (it's out of print, but available for sale used online):


You could also go back to the original work of Milton Erickson, which is what informed Bandler and Grinder's development of the NLP canon and volumes of work.  But you won't have to if you simply read this one book.  As an idea of what NLP produces, one of my favorite Erickson quotes:


You May Also Like: