Active Listening Techniques of Hostage Crisis Negotiators

Posted by on Nov 9, 2013 | No Comments

Active listening is arguably one of the most important set of skills a person must successfully employ while interacting with someone when there is something you are trying to achieve. This can include negotiating a contract, salary, sale or purchase of a house, or it can involve trying to resolve a dispute amongst friends or co-workers.

Research has consistently demonstrated active listening as being critical for communication and conflict resolution experts to successfully and peacefully resolve conflicts and disputes. This includes mediators and hostage and crisis negotiators. As you can imagine, their work entails a wide variety of situations ranging from noise disputes between neighbors to million dollar contract disputes and hostage incidents where lives are at risk.

Aside of containing by both verbal and nonverbal elements, it is not necessarily clear what exactly active listening is and what it consists of. This article sets out to clear the mystery and detail the individual parts that make up the “whole” of active listening while first explaining the value of active listening. 

Active listening is both informative and affective based. Active listening allows you to gain valuable information from the speaker (it let’s you know the “why” behind their positions or “wants”) and it develops rapport and builds trust (more on this below). Active listening entails just that,listening more than talking.

…Below are the seven techniques of active listening that are taught by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Crisis Negotiation Unit (FBI CNU) to their special agents and other law enforcement officials from around the world.

Emotion Labeling: It is important for the emotions of the person speaking to be acknowledged. Identifying the person’s emotions validates what they are feeling instead of minimizing it. During a negotiation, people can act with their emotions and not from a more cognitiveperspective. By labeling and acknowledging their emotions, it helps restore the balance.

Read the full article [HERE].