Scott Tillema: What Business Negotiators Can Learn From A Hostage Negotiator

We are excited to announce the launch of the Master Negotiators Podcast, your new source of negotiation knowledge.

The podcast is a segment of the Master Negotiators Lab, a weekly meeting to practice your negotiation skills. Our host, Shahriar Asadi interviews top negotiation experts and asks them for practical tips you can use to get better deals.

In our pilot episode, we had a conversation with the amazing Scott Tillema, an active duty law enforcement officer and FBI-trained hostage negotiator. Scott is the co-founder of The Negotiation Collective, a negotiation consulting firm. He is a renowned negotiation trainer and keynote speaker, with a TEDx lecture on crisis negotiation that has more than a million views.

In this episode, Scott sheds light on important issues about negotiation, and suggests techniques you can use to improve your negotiation skills. Time Stamps

  • Podcast Intro: 00:00
  • Scott’s Intro: 00:43
  • Scott’s professional history and current projects: 01:15
  • Key skills a keen negotiator must have: 06:15
  • The Importance of active listening in negotiations: 10:40
  • Preparing for a negotiation: 14:00​
  • When to walk away from a negotiation: 15:35
  • Outro: 19:07

Estrela Key Quotes A Good Negotiator Must Have Good Self-Control

“Let’s begin with self-control. The common feedback we get is when we are in a tough negotiation or one that didn’t work out, we’ll point the finger and say that person was the problem they were the unreasonable one they were being unfair, they were not doing it right and we’re quick to look at the other side of the negotiation and say all the things they did wrong. But I think great negotiators really have good self-control.”

The Role of Active Listening in A Negotiation

“We all have a lot of ego and say I see it this way therefore you are going to see it this way. So, we start selling this thing that we think has a lot of value when sometimes the other side finds no value in it, and they don’t want that at all. And we are busy selling, rather than sitting back and being curious and taking in information that would tell you Hey, this path that we’re going down, this isn’t right at all. Because we have different values on different things. So, don’t get into the bias that because I believe it everyone else believes it.”

Surviving A Difficult Negotiation

“So, the question is how we’re negotiating and how we should negotiate. Like we’re setting the rules for the negotiation. And I think here we have to move away from positions and get into interests and say we may not agree on this position, or I don’t like this position. But what do you mean by that? And if you’re all negotiation students or are in this field, you should be familiar with the Orange Negotiation. You know, why do you want this orange, not I want the orange. Well, I want it for the peel, or I want it for the juice. So, let’s get into the interest behind it”

We encourage you to connect with Scott Tillema on LinkedIn and to follow the Negotiation Collective page on LinkedIn. You can also have a look at Scott’s TEDx lecture in which  he describes the main pillars of crisis negotiations.

To Conclude

We hope you enjoy the pilot episode of the Master Negotiators podcast. If you have any feedback, we’d be delighted to hear from you.