Negotiation: 5 things managers can learn from hostage negotiators

Written by Annie Makoff-Clark Wednesday 20 July 2022
Hostage negotiator Sue Williams explains which of her particular set of skills are most applicable to leadership – whether negotiating a pay rise or a business deal
Two people pulling each end of a rope

Sue Williams QPM, international hostage negotiator and former head of the Hostage Crisis Negotiation Unit at Scotland Yard, has worked closely with the British Government for many years, advising and consulting on the safe return of British hostages from hot spot areas such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Northern Nigeria and Somalia. She now works with humanitarian Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), where she deals regularly with high-stake hostage negotiations.

But she also teaches managers her particular set of skills.

“Many of our skills and techniques as negotiators transfer really well into a business environment without a doubt,” explains Sue. “It’s about knowing how to navigate high-pressure situations and staying focused on your main objective.”

So, what techniques and lessons can managers take from hostage negotiators?

Keep reading to learn which techniques managers can learn from hostage negotiators


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