Principles of crisis negotiation- by Scott Tillema
As police crisis negotiators, we come from a wide variety of backgrounds, agencies big and small, urban and rural. We have received training from a wide variety of different sources, teaching us various techniques of communication and influence. Yet, we do common work and and have a common goal, to use verbal influence to peacefully resolve a critical incident. Whether it be a hostage situation or a single individual in crisis, if we expect to find success in our negotiations, there are a few principles that are consistent and fundamental.
1. Seek first to understand.
We cannot solve a problem if we don't understand what it is. It is much more efficient for us to start off a negotiation by telling someone to put the gun down or come off the ledge, but how can we realistically expect to change a person's behavior without knowing and appreciating their mindset?