All of Life is Negotiation
Once every few weeks, I like to pick up a non-fiction book dealing with people’s experiences in different fields. It is a wonderful way of ‘living’ something which one might never try or ever get to experience.
I picked up a copy of ‘Stalling for Time – My Life as an FBI Hostage Negotiator’ by Gary Noesner and it turned out to be a quick but educative read. The author has a good knack of explaining his philosophy and learnings while describing real hostage negotiations he went through. Since some of the incidents are famous in US law enforcement history, the author tries to maintains a balanced approach in dishing out criticism or praise where its due. It is fascinating to read about the patience and the empathy that a negotiator must show in volatile situations while dealing with dysfunctional and dangerous individuals.
I think the concluding para of the book captures the essence of this book very well. I quote :-
“If I’ve gained any wisdom in my FBI career, it has come from recognizing the degree to which everyday life can mirror the dynamics of the destructive standoffs I faced in my FBI job. Each of us is called upon to negotiate stressful situations in business, social encounters, and family life time and again. From what I’ve observed, the happiest and the most successful people tend to be those who are able to remain calm at these difficult times and put aside emotions such as pride or anger that stop them from finding common ground. We all need to be good listeners and learn to demonstrate our empathy and understanding of the problems, needs and issues of others. Only then can we hope to influence their behavior in a positive way.
You might even say that all of life is negotiation”.
Have a great Weekend!