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Trailblazer 09 | Chris Voss | FBI Master Negotiator

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Chris Voss is the former lead international kidnapping negotiator for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as well as the FBI’s hostage negotiation representative for the National Security Council’s Hostage Working Group. Prior to becoming the FBI lead international kidnapping negotiator, Christopher served as the lead Crisis Negotiator for the New York City Division of the FBI. Christopher was a member of the New York City Joint Terrorist Task Force for 14 years.  He was the case agent on such cases as TERRSTOP (the Blind Sheikh Case – Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman), the TWA Flight 800 catastrophe and negotiated the surrender of the first hostage taker to give up in the Chase Manhattan bank robbery hostage taking.

Today, Chris Voss is the CEO & Founder of The Black Swan Group Ltd and best-selling author of Never Split the Difference. Voss has revolutionized negotiation tactics and greatly impacted how organizations and individuals globally understand and negotiate with one another. His book aims to provide a comprehensive guide to negotiating theory and strategy, giving you the tools you need to negotiate successfully. Voss’s thesis is that good negotiation happens on the emotional level of the brain, not the rational level. Your job as a negotiator, Voss argues, is to practice and display empathy toward your counterpart by understanding their emotions, learning to see the situation from their point of view—and, ultimately, getting them to feel comfortable enough with you to let their emotional guard down.

During Chris’s 24 year tenure in the Bureau, he worked through approximately 150 kidnappings worldwide. ​He was trained in the art of negotiation by not only the FBI but Scotland Yard and Harvard Law School. He is also a recipient of the Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement and the FBI Agents Association Award for Distinguished and Exemplary Service. Taking emotional intelligence and intuition to the next level, Chis takes us through the negotiation skills that can give us the competitive edge in any discussion, especially as we attempt to drive collective buy-in to a clean energy future.

Favourite quotes:

"Negotiation is the art of creating possibilities"

"Persuasion is not about how bright or smooth or forceful you are. It’s about the other party convincing themselves that the solution you want is their own idea. So don’t beat them with logic or brute force. Ask them questions that open paths to your goals. It’s not about you."

Handy links:

Chris's website

Chris's book

Chris Voss video interview

Chris on Medium


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