What A Former FBI Hostage Negotiator Can Teach Us About The Fiscal Cliff


The tortuous negotiations involved in the “fiscal cliff” talks are like a chess game.

To shed some light on the kinds of negotiation techniques that members of Congress might be using during the talks, we asked two negotiators to walk us through their tactics with examples from their everyday lives.

Adam Galinsky teaches negotiation at Columbia University’s business school. He was recently at an airport in North Carolina, waiting to fly home. The flight was woefully overbooked, and the gate was crowded.

Then a crackling voice announced over the PA system: “We’re looking for volunteers to fly tomorrow instead of today. And we’re offering a voucher.”

To Galinsky, this was a negotiation with two players: the airline, which needed seats; and the passengers, who had seats. What would it take for the airline to convince passengers to give up those seats?

Read the whole story: NPR

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