Summary of Hostage at the Table

How Leaders Can Overcome Conflict, Influence Others, and Raise Performance

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Hostage at the Table book summary
A hostage negotiation expert shares his secrets for making business relationships work. Hint: don't be held hostage at work.


8 Overall

9 Applicability

7 Innovation

8 Style


If a dangerous criminal was demanding a one-way ticket to Venezuela as he threatened to blow your brains out, the person you would most want to see coming onto the scene is author George Kohlrieser. A psychologist and veteran hostage negotiator who has defused explosive situations around the globe, Kohlrieser now applies his knowledge, motivational insights and techniques to the business world. He contends that conflict resolution is not difficult if you understand how human self-esteem operates. The basic negotiating principles he presents may have been noted in other psychology and business management texts, but Kohlrieser's credibility and unique approach give his ideas an added kick. For example, he uses real-life hostage negotiations to illustrate his points. getAbstract thinks you'll find that this whole package is definitely a nonnegotiable demand.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How the author negotiated hostage situations and what he learned;
  • How to overcome negative messages in your brain;
  • Why effective negotiation satisfies both parties; and
  • How to avoid being held prisoner by your emotions.


Don't Be Held Hostage
The idea of being held hostage by a desperate criminal who is brandishing a gun or knife is beyond frightening. In fact, most people can't even imagine the sheer terror this situation would evoke. You may even have asked yourself how you would react under such circumstances...
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About the Author

George Kohlrieser, a psychologist and veteran hostage negotiator, is a professor of leadership and organizational behavior at the International Institute for Management Development (IMD). He is an international leadership consultant.

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