Hostage at the Table How Leaders Can Overcome Conflict


Hostage at the Table How Leaders Can Overcome Conflict Influence Others and Raise Performance J B Warren Bennis Series Very good reminder to look at the positive in things and not least making sure to bond with goals and people I liked the secure basebonding parts When you can look at the topic of conflict from the eyes of a hostage negotiator you realize that it’s a uniue opportunity Few people have the role of hostage negotiator and it seems like it’s a role that involves nerves of steel and powerful charisma However at the same time it’s easy to think that the skills necessary for hostage negotiation aren’t skills that would be generally applicable to your day to day office environment It’s rare for Suzi to hold a plastic utensil to the throat of Bill and threaten to hurt him if her demands aren’t met Whether the plastic utensil could hurt Bill is another uestion While tragically workplace violence happens it’s rare However the applicability of the experience of a hostage negotiator extends to all conflictRead One of the best books on leadership and conflict resolution I have ever read Anyone who would like to hone and develop hisher leadership skills should read and re read this book It is a great resource on human psychology and behavior especially during conflicts George Kohlrieser has elaborated on profound concepts in a beautiful and lucid manner I believe this book has helped me understand myself and my own behavior in not only professional but also in personal domains I am sure I am not alone in behaving in a particular way during a situation and then later upon reflection only left pondering over the reasons When that happens again I am sure that I will pick up this author once again Whilst his basic premise that human bonding overcomes every situation and helps leaders to raise themselves is very difficult to put into practice straight away is so very fundamental in nature that it soon becomes the big truth with neon lights shining in front of you once George Kohlrieser switches the lights on To put it into practice and build it into one's nature will surely take conscious effort time and a lot of self awareness Overall this book is than just leadership development read its a peek into human behavior and emotional intelligence than anything else Some great sections and tactics on communications Bit repetitive but solid read Overall good book with clear instruction on the power that each individual has not being a victim to those around them I have heard George speak in person and he is uite engaging As the book wore on it did hit a few dry spots George Kohlrieser an international leadership professor consultant and veteran hostage negotiator explains that it is only by openly facing conflict that we can truly progress through the most difficult business challenges In this provocative book he reveals how the proven techniues and psychological insights used in hostage negotiation can be applied successfully to any personal or business relationship Step by step he outlines the seven key factors that anyone can use to remove the blocks that stand in the way of resolving tough problems and shows how business leaders in particular can develop and access the skills they need to create trust and a positive mind set in their companies I first met George in 2012 at an alumni event put on by my business school in Boston I found him to be an engaging and captivating speaker and lamented the fact that I had not had the privilege of having him as one of my professors during my MBA studies in Switzerland Many people are taken aback by the title of this book especially if they skirt the sub title details but indeed George has made a convincing and practical translation of his skills as a psychologist and a former hostage negotiator to provide some important tools for effectively navigating both the professionalbusiness arena as well as the privatepersonal journeys of life His concepts of 'secure bases' and the power of the 'mind's eye' might seem simple on the surface On the contrary they are complex and telling when one reflects on them and reviews one's own life and the absence andor presence of these people 'bases' that have influenced our lives and the power both negative and positive of that mind's eye Both are key factors in the shaping of one's own character and 'chutzpah' as it were to influence others through time and steer ourselves in the 'right' direction In contrast with those who did not like the structure of the book I did find it slightly text book ey but appreciated the short bullet point summaries at the end of each chapter I would definitely recommend this book as it's themes and tools especially with regard to performance conflict management and dialogue are all all points where if focused upon can only improve our social relations And on that note off to read his follow up book 'Care To Dare' which elaborates these concepts even further PS While I haven't sadly been able yet to attend it might be interesting to note that George offers retreats and courses in California Santa Cruz and Big Sur at the Esalen Institute Worth checking out The author shared some solid insights on human behaviorpsychology I especially enjoyed the Mastering Emotions chapter and interesting anecdotes peppered throughout but the blandness of his writing made it hard to read than 20 pages at a time without my mind wandering elsewhere The repetitive nature of his points also bothered me I wouldn't recommend this entire book to anyone; all you need to read is the summary at the end of each chapter Wanted this book to be so much better who wouldn't want to learn from a master negotiator of life and death situations? Sadly such a wealth of experience doesn't make you a good writer Apart from the opening and closing the meat of the book is yawning and uninspired and probably would've made a much better longform article than being painfully stretched to 200 pages Skim the end of chapter summaries instead


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About the Author: George Kohlrieser