Hostage Negotiation Perspective
In this chapter, the meaning of the term hostage negotiation can be broadened to embrace crisis negotiation of several types, including threatened suicide or self-harm. A separate type of scenario may be kidnap for money, where the analogy to commercial negotiation may perhaps be strongest. There are mutual lessons to be learned from the different perspectives of commercial and hostage negotiation. Much of this book has been informed by several types of negotiations and in turn is applicable to all of these. There are so many widely different scenarios within the various realms of negotiation that the otherwise separate disciplines have some overlaps between them in some areas. Don’t just think of hostage negotiation as being about one person holding a gun to another in a bank. Consider the situation in the middle of tribal negotiations over access to safe artesian water when suddenly armed protagonists seize the only well for miles around while a woman and child are there. In that way, what begins as a commercial negotiation has the potential to deteriorate into a hostage negotiation. Consider also what happens when a retail food company is taken hostage by people contaminating products in its store. Think of the reputation of a show business celebrity being taken hostage by media phone hacking. Finally, think about employees of an oil exploration company taken hostage by modern-day pirates seeking a ransom. These are just some examples of different forms of hostage situations.