Below are a list of some free online articles and studies on the process of hostage negotiation. Just a caution. While some of the techniques used in these life threatening situations are similar to the kinds of things you can learn to use with angry customers, the contexts are sufficiently different that great care should be taken.
If you have ideas or comments on the application of hostage negotiation techniques can be adapted to customer service, please leave a comment.
For those interested, we've complied some resources -- articles and other reference material on the techniques used in hostage negotiation. There are both similiarities and differences in negotiating in hostage situations, and the kinds of techniques used in defusing angry customers, but take care, because the situations, while sharing some characteristics, are also different in a number of respects.
Please leave comments if you have ideas about how crisis negotiation techniques can be adapted to customer service situations.
Below are some links to PDF files on the topic:
Crisis (hostage) negotiation: current strategies and issues in high-risk conflict resolution
Crisis (hostage) negotiation has been described as the most significant development in law enforcement and police psychology over the past several decades. This paper reviews three primary components of crisis negotiation: (1) the incorporation of crisis management and intervention in current broad-spectrum approaches to crisis negotiation; (2) the Behavioral Change Stairway Model (BCSM), constructed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Crisis Negotiation Unit (CNU), that provides a systematic, multistep process directed toward peaceful, nonlethal resolution of critical incidents; and (3) role-playing as a vital tool in the assessment and training of crisis negotiation skills. Advancements and limitations in the field of crisis negotiation are highlighted; suggestions for
directions that future work in this area might take are offered.
NEGOTIATION, COMMUNICATION, AND DECISION STRATEGIES USED BY HOSTAGE/CRISIS NEGOTIATORS
Research Objectives: With the inquiry into the research questions in this study, the nature of negotiation resolutions and the factors affecting negotiation strategies and decision making of the negotiators are examined more effectively to create a model of communication theory-based negotiation in order to end hostage situations peacefully. There are three primary objectives, and each objective is addressed by one of the research questions in this study:
• To identify how negotiation strategy and practice is implemented by the negotiators
in hostage situations
• To examine the elements and factors affecting and constructing hostage negotiations in instrumental and expressive hostage situations
• To examine if the negotiators’ belief in the elements of Dervin’s and ShannonWeaver’s theories has an impact on handling instrumental and expressive hostage situations differently and to gauge the level of effectiveness of the two theories in the
field of hostage negotiation resolutions.
Answers About Hostage Negotiation (NY Times)
HOSTAGE NEGOTIATION STUDY GUIDE
This study guide is designed to provide the law enforcement Explorer with basic principles. The guide is not all inclusive, and does not delineate specific techniques that must be used. The focus of this guide is to provide principals that are flexible and adaptable to various law enforcement situations.
Following the basic principals in this guide should allow the law enforcement Explorer to successfully handle various law enforcement training activities safely and professionally.
The study guide was developed through the cooperation of International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center.
Introduction To Hostage Negotiations
Excerpt: At the end of this chapter, you will be able to do the following:
1. Define the terms: hostage taking, overt seizure, and
2. Identify why we negotiate in hostage situations
3. Identify four alternatives to negotiations
4. Summarize the history of hostage situations
5. Evaluate the “where”, “who”, and “why” of the average