There are many people who, without the threat of a gun, feel like a hostage - to a boss, a colleague, a team, a situation or even themselves. Feeling trapped can block the achievements of leaders and those they are leading. Leadership and hostage negotiation are both about achieving a desired outcome. Yet hostage negotiators have a 95 percent success rate, which is far higher than many business leaders. The techniques used in real hostage-taking situations can be used by anyone. It is all about a leader’s ability to focus, make a meaningful connection, take the right risks at the right time, and build trust. Using these skills you can successfully negotiate your way out of any disputes, conflict or situations of powerlessness to live and lead with a hostage-free state of mind.
George Kohlrieser is Distinguished Professor of Leadership at IMD Business School, a former hostage negotiator, and award-winning author of “Hostage at the Table: How Leaders Can Overcome Conflict, Influence Others and Raise Performance” and “Care to Dare: Unleashing Astonishing Potential through Secure Base Leadership.”