Episode 23: Derek Gaunt. Treat employees as hostage-takers.

Jul 26, 2021 | Podcast

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Derek Gaunt: How to treat employees as hostage-takers.

Derek Gaunt is a lecturer, trainer, author of “Ego, Authority, Failure and member of the Balck Swan Group. With over 20 years of experience in hostage negotiations, Derek is versed in de-escalating emotions and returning people to a normal functioning level for better decision-making and behavioural change.
Ego, Authority, Failure: Using Emotional Intelligence Like a Hostage Negotiator to Succeed as a Leader” is filled with actionable tips that can help front-line managers, middle managers, and C-suite executives grow as leaders to inspire their teams and achieve their business goals.
Just like hostage negotiators use truly universal techniques, the skills taught in this book can apply to nearly every business situation.
During this conversation, Derek walked me through the hostage negotiator’s tactics and tools and showed me how to apply them to feedback conversations scenarios and difficult conversations with employees.


Tactical Empathy

Is a solution to any relationship! You will learn various tools that combined, will help you establish trust and defuse emotionally charged conversation.
“We call it tactical empathy because it’s deliberate and it is strategic. The best purveyors of tactical empathy are hostage negotiators and sociopaths. We both use it because we know it’s effective.”

Accusation Audit

To create psychological safety, hostage negotiators starting with accusations early on. 
You will hear how Derek starts performance review with accusation audit and explains why it is so effective.
“There is no clearer way for you to demonstrate that you are trying to see it from their perspective than for you to start verbalising things that they haven’t even said yet”.

“No” Oriented Question

Another counterintuitive at first, and highly effective tactic.
If you’d like people to say yes to your request, formulate a question that makes them say “NO”
“People are “YES” addicted “YES” is becoming a dirty word. YES means obligation, YES means commitment, Yes means I HAVE NO ROOM. You are giving them a choice when you change to NO ORIENTED question. They feel like they have an option.”

Quick 2 plus 1

It’s a combination of 3 simple tools that the Black Swan Group is coaching their students that will give you an edge in every negotiation or difficult conversation.
Derek coached me on how to use Labelling, Mirroring and Dynamic Pause.
Two hacks on how to stay cool ahead of the difficult conversation
I asked Derek how did he keep his ego and authority at bay when negotiating with criminals?

 To further progress your negotiation and leadership skills, connect with Derek, check out the Black Swan Group and grab his book “Ego, Authority, Failure”: