Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Talk the talk: negotiation with Somali pirates

“Somali pirates can be clever, aggressive negotiators and they are quick to take advantage if they see weakness,” says Mr Edwards.

“You have to be robust, but at the same time you have got to show that you understand how the negotiation process works.”

In agreeing the price of exchange and executing the deal, there is a world of pitfalls and subterfuge. And after five years of dealing with hijackings off the Somali coast, Leslie Edwards has learnt nearly every pirate trick in the book.
These days, whenever the former British Army officer is called in to negotiate a ransom, he brings a checklist of “pirate tactics” with him.
So far he has counted 37 different ruses and manoeuvres. Some are more sophisticated than others, but all are designed to strike fear into the ship owners he works for and, ultimately, drive up the price paid.

Read more from the [HERE]

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

How To Negotiate With A Terrorist Organization

This is from earlier in the year but worth listening to anyway to get insight on negotiation strategies regarding ransom and terrorist incidents.


(Via Nigerian officials believe the nearly 300 schoolgirls kidnapped by the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram have been split up and sent out of the country.
Hostage negotiators will be among the team of experts the U.S. is sending to Nigeria to help find them.
Clint Van Zandt is the FBI’s former chief hostage negotiator and he tells Here & Now’s Robin Young that the U.S. negotiators must first locate a Boko Haram member with authority to broker a deal.
Van Zandt says then they will advise on any ransom demands and most likely negotiate through a third party, like a family or company.

Friday, December 4, 2015

WSHNA 2016 Conference

WSHNA is on Facebook or
Next Conference - April 24 to April 27, 2016
Riverhouse Hotel & Convention Center, Bend, Oregon


The Western States Hostage Negotiators' Association (WSHNA) is excited to announce
their 30th Annual Training Conference and host to the Annual Meeting of the National
Council of Negotiation Associations (NCNA).
April 24, 2016 to April 27th, 2016 at the Riverhouse Hotel &
Convention Center, Bend, Oregon

Full information at WSHNA is also on Facebook under our full name.
Our web site includes presenter information, hotel information, and on-line registration
and payment.

The goal of the association is to develop in members a higher degree of proficiency in the
performance of their professional duties. The association shall provide training for members,
and the association shall act as a resource and conduit for information sharing.
WSHNA depends upon your involvement as a member to accomplish these goals. WSHNA
represents police & corrections crisis negotiators from Alaska, British Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho,
Montana, Nevada, Oregon, & Washington.

WSHNA is recognized as a tax exempt, non-profit organization, 501(c)(3), by the Internal
Revenue Service and Washington State. Tax numbers are available upon request.

Conference Contact Information
Sgt. Dan Ritchie,

Organizational Contact Information
Bruce A. Wind, Director of Communications
2416 46th AVE SE, Puyallup, WA 98374-4181
email at (preferred) or 253-446-6119

Monday, November 30, 2015

Crisis Negotiation- The Court Case That Decided How It Should NOT Be Done

For new negotiators and old, this paper is worth reading. It give a full overview and the long-term impact it had with crisis and hostage negotiations in the U.S.

It's a "must read" for those who want to understand how and why law enforcement crisis/hostage negotiation procedures were created. 

Case History: Downs v. United States 
Tomas C. Mijares, PhD Jay D. Jamieson, PhD

The tragic consequences of inexperience, lack of an established base of knowledge and training, combined with poor situational judgment during a hostage incident in 1971, resulted in significant changes in the application of the Federal Tort Claims Act to allegations of negligence on the part of crisis negotiators. The incident, as a glaring example of everything not to do in a hostage event, has influenced the subsequent development of fundamental knowledge, training, and skills for police crisis negotiations.

Read the full paper [HERE].

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Negotiations & The Paris Terrorist Attack

The bullet-riddled shield used by police in the final assault on the Bataclan bombers

Terrorists holding 20 people hostage in the Bataclan concert hall spoke to police negotiators five times on a mobile phone before officers finally stormed their hideout and brought the siege to an end.

Timeline Snippet

10:15 p.m.

Elite RAID anti-terrorist police arrived at the theatre to find darkness and silence broken only by the sound of mobile phones ringing unanswered in the pockets of the dead and the survivors pretending to be dead.
“When we went in, it was really dark. There were dozens of bodies lying on top of each other on the ground, the dead, the injured, the survivors who were pretending to be dead,” a policeman identified only as Jean told the TF1 television channel.
“It was like Dante’s Inferno,” another officer told Le Monde. The smell was unbearable, the silence appalling, he said....


Having checked the upper floor, the police came to one last door, behind which they thought the remaining bombers were holed up. A voice came from the other side of the door – a hostage who had been sent as an intermediary.
“He shouted out that the terrorists were there and that if we opened the door they would blow everything up,” said Jean.
Behind the door, the terrorists were inflicting mental torture on their 20 hostages. One of them, Sebastien, who has since emerged as a hero after pulling the pregnant woman hanging from the windowsill to safety, said: “They asked us if we agreed with them. I'll let you imagine the lingering silence of that moment. The most timid nodded their heads and the most daring said 'Yes.'
"They asked us to serve as look outs, to yell at the police to stay back and that if not they would blow up their explosive vests.”
rench fire brigade members aid an injured individual near the Bataclan concert hall following fatal shootings in ParisFrench fire brigade members aid an injured individual near the Bataclan concert hall following fatal shootings in Paris  Photo: REUTERS

11:27 p.m.

The terrorists agreed to give the police a mobile phone number and at 11.27pm the first contact was made. A specialist negotiator, who had also spoken to Coulibaly during the Hyper Cacher siege, asked for their demands.
“They didn’t want to free the hostages. They said get out or we will shoot and we will decapitate the hostages,” said Jean. They also said they would throw a body out of a window every five minutes.
Over the next 50 minutes four more calls were exchanged, but the negotiations led nowhere.
Read more from the [HERE]. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The 5 Core Skills Of Hostage Negotiators

The goal in law enforcement crisis situations where crisis and hostage negotiators are being utilized entails influencing a behavioral change in someone in order to gain voluntary compliance. Although initially this statement might sound jargon-filled, it simply means using a set of skills to get a person to stop acting the way he or she currently is and getting that person then to act the way you want them to.

The following are the core skills taught in initial law enforcement crisis and hostage negotiation courses across the world. Although you as the reader most likely will never be negotiating with someone threatening suicide on the ledge of a bridge or claiming if their demands are not met they will take someone’s life, you deal with your own crisis situations daily. This ranges from decision-making strategies at work, giving directives to employees, making a sales pitch, negotiating terms of a contract (a house for example), and determining financial and budget plans.

The unifying factor is in crisis situations a person’s actions are being dictated by their emotions at the detriment of rational thinking. Therefore, an effective crisis negotiator seeks to reduce the negative emotions that are dictating the person’s actions and bring back a more rational thinking process by employing the skills below.

The skills are active listening, using time, demonstrating empathy and building rapport, influencing the other person, and the concept of control. Each skill is further discussed [HERE].

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Negotiating with a Paranoid Schizophrenic Subject

 BY:  Samuel A. Farina, Jr.
NYAHN President and Retired Deputy Chief of Rochester (NY) Police Department

On August 14, 2013 in St. Joseph, Louisiana, headlines on CBS news read the following, “The gunman in a fatal hostage standoff wrote that he was angry at his ex-girlfriend's family and believed they were responsible for a device in his head…”

20-year-old Fuaed Abdo Ahmed shot two hostages, killing one, at a rural Louisiana bank before state police ended the 12-hour long standoff by shooting him dead. Admed indicated during the negotiation that he had a device in his head and wanted to have it removed.  Fearing for the safety of the two hostages Admed held and who actively threatened to harm, a tactical solution was employed in an attempt to save the lives of the hostages.  It was learned during the hostage situation that Ahmed was diagnosed and suffered from Paranoid Schizophrenia. 

Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe, and disabling brain disorder that affects about (1) one percent of people all over the world. People with schizophrenia sometimes hear voices others don’t hear, believe that others are broadcasting their thoughts to the world, or become convinced that others are plotting to harm them. These experiences can make them fearful and withdrawn and cause difficulties when they try to have relationships with others.

Most individuals with schizophrenia are not violent; more typically, they are withdrawn and prefer to be left alone. However, studies indicate that except for those persons with a record of criminal violence before becoming ill, and those with substance abuse or alcohol problems, people with schizophrenia are not especially prone to violence.  There are other studies that suggest that probability of violence with schizophrenics is five times higher than those absent the disorder. About one-third of individuals with schizophrenia attempt suicide. Schizophrenia is treatable with both medication and therapy. 

Substance abuse significantly raises the rate of violence in people with schizophrenia but also in people who do not have any mental illness. People with paranoid and psychotic symptoms, which can become worse if medications are discontinued, may also be at higher risk for violent behavior. When violence does occur, it is most frequently targeted at family members and friends, and more often takes place at home.

Negotiators who engage someone who is schizophrenic will observe situations of thought disturbances, hallucinations, delusions and other departures from reality.  It is important to address this situation with a number of specific communication strategies in an effort to resolve the situation peacefully and, at the same time, having a tactical plan at the ready in the event there is a need to save hostages, especially family or friends of the subject.

As with all negotiations, communication strategies have a foundation in utilizing Active Listening Skills to build a trusting relationship through rapport building.  This will prove to be a significant challenge with someone who is schizophrenic.  Due to the paranoia that routinely exists with those who have schizophrenia, building relationship and trust probably will not develop.  Efforts to stall for time to promote fatigue will be your best strategy to resolve a crisis event.  Listen and provide empathy while being based in reality will allow for the subject tire.  Avoid arguing and keep the conversation ongoing to encourage ventilation, gain intelligence, gain an understanding as to the subject’s state of mind, and gauge their level of episodic condition. 

The negotiator should be asking questions such as:
  •             What medications are you taking?
  •             Are you taking your medications?
  •             Have you stopped taking your medication?
  •             What are the voices saying or what are they telling you?
  •             What are you seeing?
  •             Do you want to hurt yourself?

Access to a mental health professional as a resource to develop a personality and psychological profile would prove useful with understating medications and their effects, the psychological history of the subject and a more specific communication strategy.  Given the frustration that may exist with mental health care providers and those with mental illness who are in crisis, offering psychiatric services in the early stages of the negotiation may prove counterproductive. 

Mediations prescribed today for schizophrenia could have a timely effect if taken during a crisis event and the subject should be encouraged to take their prescription during the negotiation.  Often times the main reason for discontinuing the use of medications is a result of the adverse side effects that consist of such ailments as headaches, nausea, impotence and involuntary muscle contractions. 

Appealing to the subject’s emotion of having to live with hallucinations and/or delusions should be expressed.  Maintain reality and don’t fall victim to joining in with the subject’s distorted thinking or behavior.  Ask intelligent questions about the subject’s hallucinations or delusions specific to what they are experiencing. 

Know that during the negotiation with a schizophrenic you will be quickly be exhausted and frustrated by the situation.  An appeal to the subject’s ego will go a long way.  In addition, the use of the media as a means to publicly outline the paranoid’s concerns may be an option as a resolution strategy. 

These types of negotiations will prove to be the most taxing and mentally challenging.  It is important to stay in our own reality and not enter into the subject’s distorted world.  Stay true to the process of using time as a means to promote fatigue and continuous communication.  Constant risk assessment will be necessary with the schizophrenic especially when there is evidence substance abuse in combination of having hostages who are relatives/friends.  There may be a need to quickly transition to a tactical solution if there are communicated threats directed toward others.  Keep in mind suicide as a potential concern during the course of any crisis situation and have an affinity for extreme patience and enhanced flexibility. 

Monday, October 12, 2015

FBI’s most dangerous hostage crisis: The Vietnam veteran who stole a child

ON A cold January day in rural Alabama, a Vietnam veteran with a grudge against the world climbed on to a school bus, shooting the driver and abducting a five-year-old boy to his underground bunker.
Jimmy Lee Dykes, a 65-year-old former truck driver with a terrifying reputation, held Ethan Gilman captive for a week in what has been called one of the most dangerous and difficult hostage cases the FBI has faced.
More than two years on, The Wall Street Journal has gone back inside the heart-stopping standoff, using interviews, recordings, photos and documents to tell the story of an angry man with nothing left to lose. Dykes had no relationship with his two daughters and ex-wife, and had gained a reputation for his vicious treatment of local pets — threatening neighbours, and a deep resentment of the government.
...the FBI Critical Incident Response unit sent a Boeing 727 packed with criminal profilers, bomb experts, attack dogs, crisis managers and the Hostage Rescue Team, who set up at an old building that had been an antique store, restaurant and strip club.
Read more from [HERE]. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Police negotiators who helped Rock Hill woman in bell tower: Peaceful resolution is bottom line

Rock Hill- Almost invisible the afternoon of Sept. 2 in downtown Rock Hill, a team worked to bring a woman threatening suicide from the bell tower of Rock Hill’s First Presbyterian Church.

No lone wolf negotiator like the movies or TV. Denzel Washington did not arrive by helicopter.

These officers have no fancy name or nicknames or even strict job descriptions. A life was in jeopardy but there was no talk of drama. The words used were “safety” and “care” and “help.”

Read more from [HERE]. 

Read more here:

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Guy Tweets About Cops Surrounding Him And The Police Tweet Right Back

I assume most police departments have policies in place when dealing with standoffs, and movies led me to believe these policies usually involve calling in grizzled negotiators who were just a few hours away from making it through their last days before retirement.
If they want to do their jobs correctly, the police have to stay up to date on new and developing forms of technology
Read more from [HERE]. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Samuel Farina named new Fairport Police Chief

Congratulations to the NYAHN president, Sam Farina, on his new appointment.

Samuel Farina named new Fairport Police Chief

A former Rochester police commander who has also been with the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Monroe County Sheriff's Office on Monday was named chief of the Fairport Police Department.
Samuel Farina was sworn in during a short ceremony at 7:30 p.m. at Village Hall, 31 S. Main Street.
Fairport Mayor Fritz May said Farina's extensive experience made him the ideal candidate for the police department's top spot.
"He's just done a gazillion things," May said. "He's a competent leader and everyone we spoke with spoke very highly of him. We are sure he's going to come in and make a smooth transition."
Read more at the [HERE]. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

'Negotiation is trying to bring people back from period of crisis'

It's a job straight out of a Hollywood script but one of the PSNI's 20 negotiators specially trained to deal with hostages situations, threatened suicides and seiges says its mostly about ordinary people who find themselves in extraordinary situations. Bimpe Archer reports

Unlike in the US, British-trained negotiators aim to be face-to-face rather than on a telephone and dressed down in civilian clothes.
"We tend to go out and speak to a lot of people, rather than through a window or a door, provided to do so."

Read more from [HERE]. 

Monday, August 31, 2015

Obama to name James O'Brien hostage affairs envoy

President Barack Obama appointed a former State Department official to the new position of special envoy for hostage affairs, the White House announced Friday. 
Jim O'Brien will work with foreign governments to secure the safe return of American hostages, according to a statement from Lisa Monaco, the President's Advisor on Homeland Security and Counterterrorism. O'Brien will also work directly with the families of hostages.
Read more from [HERE]. 
From the White House statement:
In this role, Mr. O’Brien will report to the Secretary of State and will work closely with the Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell also established under the Executive Order and the rest of the U.S. Government to synchronize diplomatic efforts in support of comprehensive strategies to bring home American hostages. He will also work directly with the families of hostages as part of the U.S. Government team dedicated to securing the safe return of their loved ones.
Read the full statement [HERE]. 

Friday, August 28, 2015

Lt. Jack Cambria, NYPD Hostage Negotiation Team Commander, Retires


Lt. Jack Cambria, commander of the NYPD’s Hostage Negotiation Team, will retire Friday, after 33 years of protecting the city through respect.

“He’s trained hundreds of officers, worked thousands of scenes and saved untold lives,” Bratton said. “In the process, he’s helped the NYPD change how police handle these situations around the country and even the world.” read more from the NY Daily News [HERE].

Monday, August 10, 2015

Crisis Negotiation: From Suicide to Terrorism Intervention

(From the Paul J. Taylor Lab)
Abstract: This chapter uses an account of a real-life crisis negotiation to explore what is know about these high-stakes, emotion-fueled interactions. We begin by reviewing literature relevant to four different interaction periods within the case: first impressions and the verbal and nonverbal factors that effect initial exchanges; rapport development and the communicative skills that facilitate information gathering; sensemaking and the frameworks that help negotiators understand the motivations of their interlocutor; and, influence strategies and their impact on moving a perpetrator from antagonism to cooperation. 

After reviewing these phases, we consider the impact of contextual factors, such as perpetrator’s background and type of incident, on the way in which the phases occur. We then conclude by identifying areas ripe for future research. We discuss the need to better understanding influence across cultures, the sensemaking of negotiators over time, and the experiences of victims. 

Snippet: The instant impression (e.g., first 30 seconds) and opening gambit (e.g., 5-10 minutes) of a negotiator is critical to how a crisis incident becomes framed and how it then unfolds. This period of the interaction is typically characterized by extreme emotions and mistrust, with perpetrators struggling for dominance and protecting their face rather than exchanging information or bargaining (Donohue, Kaufman, Smith, & Ramesh, 1991). 

Sometimes, negotiations do not get past this stage. Indeed, a much cited anecdote in the literature is of the negotiation that lasted hours because the negotiator did not offer the perpetrator an opportunity to come out; the negotiation continued because the perpetrator, who has no expectation or ‘script’ about how the interaction should unfold, did not realize that surrendering was an option (McMains & Mullins, 2001).

Authors: Simon Wells, Paul J. Taylor Lancaster University, UK and Ellen Giebels University of Twente, The Netherlands

Read the full paper [HERE]. 

Monday, July 6, 2015

Obama Announces Change in Hostage Policy

President Barack Obama announced Wednesday that the government will no longer threaten to criminally prosecute families of American hostages who pay ransom to get loved ones back from such groups as ISIS —just one of several policy changes following a multi-month examination of how the government operates in situations when Americans abroad are held captive by terrorist organizations.

"The families have told us and told me directly about their frequent frustrations in dealing with their own government," the president said on Wednesday adding "That's totally unacceptable."

…The president also underscored that the administration still believes in a no-concessions policy in dealing with terrorists but makes clear for the first time that "no concessions" does not mean "no communication."

..."The U.S. government may itself communicate with hostage-takers, their intermediaries, interested governments, and local communities to attempt to secure the safe recovery of the hostage," according to a statement from the White House. 

Read more and watch the video at [HERE]. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Researchers Identify Useful Negotiation Strategies for 'Honor Cultures'

The following research study could be of interest to crisis negotiators as it involves the concept of different cultures- especially those in which "honor" has a significant role.

COLLEGE PARK, Md.June 15, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new study shows that Western diplomatic strategies based on rationality may backfire when applied to discussions with "honor cultures," such as in the Middle East, African and Latin America. The authors of the study recommend that diplomats better tailor their word choice to the values of the culture with whom they are negotiating. Another outcome of the study is a new "honor dictionary" based on hundreds of interviews in the Middle East that identifies "honor talk" in negotiations and contrasts it with other dictionaries developed in the United States to assess more "rational talk."
The study examines the role of honor in negotiations and was designed to complement the "rational" Western model of dialogue and to better serve honor cultures. The new proposed honor model—based on models found in many Arabic-speaking populations—illustrates the linguistic processes that facilitate creativity in negotiation agreements in the United States and Egypt.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Families Press for Changes in Policy on Hostages

WASHINGTON — When President Obama met recently with the mother of James Foley, the American hostage beheaded last August by the Islamic State, she said, he told her that freeing her son and the other American hostages held with him had been his top priority.

“With all due respect,” Diane Foley said she answered, “that may have been the intention, but in practice, it certainly wasn’t.”

Mr. Obama, she said, also conceded that his administration had failed her. “That was the least he could do,” Mrs. Foley said in an interview this week. “That was hopeful. I recognize that the administration feels badly it was not handled well and it was not given the priority it should have had.”

American hostages held overseas by terrorists, which will result in several proposed changes to be announced in the next month, said a senior administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the review had not been completed.

The review is likely to recommend…

Read more from the [HERE]. 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

In This Corner: The Antisocial Personality Disorder (It’s all about me!) Hostage-taker

Reprinted  with permission from the author’s book,  Hostage/Crisis Negotiations: Lessons Learned from the Bad, the Mad, and the Sad, and with credit to the publisher, Charles C. Thomas.
The Antisocial Personality Disorder (It’s all about me!) Hostage-taker*
                                             By Thomas Strentz, Ph.D., FBI (retired)

* * *

A few years ago, police in New England cornered a young man, who, after a long hot pursuit from an aborted bank robbery in Vermont entered a residence in Massachusetts, and took a deputy sheriff and his children hostage in their home. This individual, who said he had to rob the bank because his parole agent was demanding he repay the car loan that he lost gambling, met his father for the first time when they were in the same state prison.  During protracted negotiations, he rationalized his situation and blamed others for his troubles. The siege ended when the deputy assaulted the subject and escaped out the window as the police entered the home.  Typically, and due to his large ego, this hostage-taker acted as his own attorney.  He was found guilty on all counts and sentenced to 40 years in state prison. (Special Agent Liane McCarthy 2000)

It is easy to recognize an Antisocial Personality Disorder (asp**) hostage-taker by his glibness, his narcissism, his seemingly stress-free voice and attitude, his high verbal skills, and his constant use of rationalization and projection to justify his situation.  His demands will be for money, escape, and other self-serving needs.  Remember, “It’s all about me!” His demeanor will remind you of criminal informants with whom you have been involved.  When one compares his chronological to his emotional age, he appears to many to be an Adult Adolescent.  During the siege he will challenge the negotiator as if the life and death hostage siege is a game.  

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Ask Questions and really listen

This article refers to non-law enforcement crisis negotiation however it can provide a great opportunity to reflect on the importance of listening- enjoy:

Ask Questions and really listen
I’ve spent the majority of my career negotiating. I’ve made plenty of mistakes. I’ve also learned from some great negotiators. Something surprising: better negotiators focus more on the other side, than they do on themselves.Instead of telling other people what to think, they ask questions, and really listen.
Read more from [HERE]. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Getting to Yes – With Yourself -- Book Review

Book Cover
John Sturrock/William Ury- "In the morning when I look at myself in the mirror, I like to remind myself that I am seeing the person who is probably going to give me the most trouble that day, the opponent who will be the biggest obstacle to me getting what I truly want.”
So writes William Ury in his just published new book,Getting to Yes with Yourself. Those who attended Collaborative Scotland’s Day of Dialogue in September at which William Ury was our guest conversationalist by video link, or who were present at The Hub in Edinburgh in 2009 when he led a full day workshop, will recall a man of warmth and humility, combined with clarity and great wisdom.
The distinguished co-author of the seminal Getting to Yes has come to the conclusion that the missing piece in all his writing about dealing with conflict is the inner one.

Read more at [HERE]. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

We Do Negotiate With Terrorists

Let’s stop pretending we don’t, and craft better U.S. policy to protect American hostages.
A masked, black-clad militant, who has been identified by the Washington Post newspaper as a Briton named Mohammed Emwazi.

Not making concessions to terrorists has become notnegotiating with terrorists, which has become notcommunicatingwith terrorists.
On March 1, 1973, a group of gunmen stormed into a reception being held at the Saudi Embassy in Khartoum, Sudan, taking hostage a group of diplomats that included the U.S. ambassador and deputy chief of mission. The militants—from the Palestinian group Black September, which a year earlier had killed nine Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics—demanded the immediate release of a list of prisoners in Germany, Israel, Jordan, and the United States, including Sirhan Sirhan, the convicted assassin of Robert Kennedy. At a press conference the next day, President Nixon was asked if the U.S. government was considering Sirhan’s release. “As far as the United States as a government giving in to blackmail demands, we cannot do so and we will not do so,” the president said. “We will do everything that we can to get them released, but we will not pay blackmail.” Several hours later both U.S. diplomats were dead.
Read more at [HERE].

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Bill would create ‘hostage czar’ to coordinate efforts to rescue Americans

A Maryland congressman introduced legislation Friday that would create a “hostage czar,” a high-level position at the National Security Council that would centralize efforts to find and free U.S. hostages.
...The U.S. government’s approach to handling hostage cases has come under intense criticism since the Islamic State beheaded three American hostages last year. The group also claimed that an Arizona woman it had kidnapped was killed in an airstrike on one of its buildings in Syria.
Read more from the Washington Post [HERE]. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

8 Ways Having a Toddler Is Like a Hostage Negotiation With a Highly Unstable Person

8 Ways Having a Toddler Is Like a Hostage Negotiation With a Highly Unstable Person
1. The list of demands aren’t always clear, but when they are announced, they are often impossibly specific.
When you ask them what they want, they get so absorbed in the question that their tiny toddler brains seemingly overheat and they stammer and stutter as they try to get the words out. Saliva runs down their chin, and a circuitous, long-winded statement finally spills out like floodwater that’s been building up behind the earthworks: I wan…I want…I want to go to a movie like the Foe-zen, but I wanna bring my Lego puppy. We could have a pizza. On a Tuesday, on a rocket ship. When you tell them that their request isn’t possible, they lose it. With toddlers, every request is a potential Kobayshi Maru.

2. They protest even when you give them exactly what they want.
Read more from Yahoo! [HERE]. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Five Strange Workplace Conversation Tips From a Hostage Negotiator

The single obstacle standing between you and a promotion, raise, or new job could be your voice, according to a paper published this month in Organization Management Journal. The study, written by a business school professor and a voice specialist, drew lessons from an in-depth interview with Christophe Caupenne, a former counterterrorist and hostage negotiator with Research, Assistance, Intervention, and Deterrence (RAID), France’s equivalent of a SWAT unit. As it turns out, persuading a maniac not to kill someone requires the same skills as talking to your boss. You never would have guessed, I bet.
Here are some of the strategies Caupenne recommends for people who want to be better at getting things out of other people at work.

1. Train your breathing on a candle.

Read more from Bloomberg Business [HERE].