FBI hostage negotiation training

FBI hostage negotiation training

FBI hostage negotiation training

FBI hostage negotiation training

Have you ever heard of Chris Voss?

If the answer is “no”, I can tell you I’m not surprised.

In fact, his name was new to me until a few weeks ago.

Christopher Voss is an American businessman, author, and academic.

Voss is a former FBI hostage negotiator.

He is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and a lecturer at the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California.

Let me explain better, During my continuous research on personal development, I came across a video on Youtube.

When the author of the video spoke about negotiation, he also referred to a book.

I had never been interested in negotiation, but the way the author of the video talked about it convinced me to delve into the topic.

In this article, we will talk about the FBI Hostage negotiation training, or what Chris Voss explains in his book.


Who is Christopher Voss?

I’m not sure that this is his real name, it is possible that he has chosen a stage name to protect his privacy.

I think that the best way to make you know him, is to let him introduce himself:

After patrolling the most dangerous streets of Kansas City for years, Chris Voss has become FBI chief negotiator.

Thanks to the long experience gained in intricate and dangerous situations, he is considered an undisputed authority on the negotiation of hostages.

He had to discuss face to face with all kinds of criminals – including bank robbers and terrorists.

His persuasion techniques have become a subject of study in the faculties of economics.

They have proven effective not only for entrepreneurs of companies with millionaire turnover or for graduates looking for prestigious jobs, but also for parents struggling with difficult children.


How can the FBI hostage negotiation training be useful?

FBI hostage negotiation training

At the base of the theories expressed by Voss, there is the idea that the human being is an animal driven by emotions.

By creating empathy it is possible to bring the conversation to a subconscious level that does not take into account the oppositions of the rational mind.

The techniques used by Voss are extreme techniques, given that the life of one or more people is at stake.

The principle behind them, however, is the same that can be applied in any negotiation.

If there are no lives at stake, the pressure is reduced, but this does not mean that the quality of the negotiation should also decrease.

In fact, these techniques are also applied by multinationals when it comes to very high-value contracts.

In those cases, negotiation can bring important economic advantages.


Never split the difference

This is the title of the book that Chris wrote.

At the beginning of the book Voss tells how, at an event at Harvard University, he was able to meet the best students and undergraduates of some of the best universities in the world, including Tufts University and MIT.

In a pair exercise, Voss had to negotiate the price with another student.

As result, he didn’t only manage to negotiate a high price, but he managed to exceed the maximum budget for the negotiation.

The student with whom he practiced the exercise did not succeed.

Despite the high preparation, the student didn’t manage to understand how he did it.

The idea behind it is to use the FBI hostage negotiation training and apply it to every kind of negotiation.


Voss teaches us not to fear conflict in relationships.

He explains that the conflict must be managed in order to get the best result without harming yourself or the other party.

To do this one must know and use the strategies of emotional intelligence.

It is necessary to understand how to identify and influence one’s own and others’ emotions, in order to connect with each other without ever pursuing the simplest way, that is, that of compromise, which often proves unsatisfactory, if not downright deleterious.

The book provides detailed and precise guidance on how to conduct a negotiation.

Each chapter begins with the description of a real episode of negotiation. From there Voss explains the principles of negotiation in real life (from the price of a service to the rent of the house).

This makes the book even more useful and easy to assimilate.

The basic principle on which the author is based is that of active listening: it is useless to think about what to say, much better to focus on the other: negotiation is a process of acquiring information, the more you have, the easier it is to negotiate.

Who can benefit from this book?

I know, the title I have chosen is provocative and may seem inappropriate.

But I ask you to imagine what power the FBI hostage negotiation training applied to small everyday challenges can have.

Every day of our life, when we relate to other people, we unconsciously find ourselves negotiating for something.

I don’t necessarily speak of economic aspects, sometimes we also discuss for emotional reasons.

Imagine that you want to get a better relationship with a person.

Imagine that this person could benefit from that relationship just as you could.

Now imagine that the techniques explained in this book are the solution.

Why is this book suitable for you? It is because having a refined negotiation technique can only bring benefits in your life.


I hope this topic has stimulated your curiosity as it has stimulated mine.

In my case, I went from not knowing who Christopher Voss was, to read his book in a few days.

No matter what you do, imagine how you could improve various aspects of your life if you were only more able to negotiate.

We all know that the FBI is at the forefront of psychological techniques. Being able to learn some of their secrets, by reading a book, is certainly an opportunity you should take.

If you liked this topic, you may be interested in the following posts:

How to improve communication skill

Free NLP techniques

For your convenience, here is the direct link where you can buy the book from Amazon.

To your success,


2 thoughts on “FBI hostage negotiation training

  1. I knew Chris Voss thanks to MasterClass ads and I tried to better understand his method, but I haven’t read the book yet. Never Split the Difference must be a very interesting reading. I mean, it may seem quite unusual to use in business the same techniques experts use in FBI hostage negotiation, but in reality it is exactly as you mentioned: there are some methods, rules and techniques that can apply to any kind of negotiation. I will try to buy and read the book as soon as i can!

    1. Hi Rosalia,

      Thank you for your comment. Actually, this book surprised me positively.

      After reading it, I started seeing things from another perspective. It is really funny to focus on what he teaches and try to apply those techniques to everyday situations.

      Have a great day,


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