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them with examples of how they are implemented in a crisis
and hostage settings.
The third frame, face, refers to the subject’s self-image: how
the subject believes others perceive him or her. Hammer
identifies several different types of face messages that may
require different responses from the negotiator. For example,
“attack self-face” messages includes statements made by
the subject that are demeaning to the subject’s self-image,
while “defend self-face” messages are statements used to
protect against perceived future face-attacks. During the
“surrender ritual,” the moment when subject decides to
peacefully surrender to authorities, saving face will often
emerge as a critically important element.
The discussion of the final frame, emotional distress,
contains information and insights that will provide the
most benefit to conflict resolution practitioners who are
not hostage negotiators. Emotions are present in any
negotiations, and in crisis and hostage situations, it is typically
the subject’s emotional distress that has led to the crisis.
As Hammer stresses, “accurate assessment of a suspect’s
emotional experience is essential to achieving a peacefully
negotiated incident resolution.” He then offers specific details
on how to track emotional distress issues and options on how
to address each.
Hammer describes five emotional distress states
encountered in hostage crisis negotiations, and in other
negotiations as well: sadness, fear, disgust, anger, and shame,
each of which has its own “action tendency.” For example,
the action tendency of sadness is to seek help. A negotiator
is able to gain influence with the subject by responding to the
emotional distress state and its “action tendency.”
Hammer explains the value but also the limitations of active
listening, which by itself is not a “magic bullet”
to bring about a peaceful resolution. Without
minimizing the effect (and affect) of active listening, Hammer
provides a reality check that explains active listening as only
one component to being an effective negotiator.
The work of crisis and hostage negotiators leaves little
room for error, as the consequences often can be a matter
of life or death. Fortunately, in most conflict resolution
situations the mistakes of a negotiator or neutral will
have less serious consequences. Still, although a budding
conflict resolution professional can enjoy the book, it will
be most useful to experienced practitioners who have a
firm understanding of the practice models they use that is
grounded in experience. They will find much in the book that
they might apply to their work.
If there are any drawbacks to Saving Lives, they might be
the comprehensiveness of content “and the many (perhaps
too many) skills and accompanying examples displaying what
has and has not made negotiators during hostage and crisis
Further, the real stories told in the second part of the
book are not offered in a Hollywood-glamorized fashion
This is not a suspense-thriller novel where you are
wondering what will happen next nor is it an easy read in
the sense of getting “quick tips” to being the “greatest
negotiator on Earth.”
Rather, this book is a concise modern-style textbook
that allows the reader to get substantive content grounded
in research and brought to life by actual examples. The
stories are provided in a much more practical and beneficial
manner–they are straight to the point while also being
analytical and utilizing a new model.
The end result for the non-hostage negotiator reader
is a better under-standing of what makes negotiators
effective in a specific setting, and if he or she chooses, ample
opportunities to apply it to their work.
by Jennifer E. Beer and Eileen Stieff
The revised and expanded fourth edition
is a most welcome update to an early
book in our field–one that beautifully
captures the soul of mediation. This
book is a foundation for much of the
development of mediation theory and
practice over the past 30 years.
A GUIDE TO
by Gary J. Friedman
A Guide to Divorce Mediation helped
me see the path I knew I wanted to
take but wasn’t sure I could. Gary’s
stories helped me recognize that it was
a path well within my reach. Any family
attorney considering a shift to a full
time mediation practice should give this
book a read.
GETTING PAST NO:
Negotiating In Difficult
by William Ury
Once people decide to co-operate rather
than compete, a mediation sails along. The
difficulty for me has always been the jump
to cooperation. Getting Past No helped
me to fashion a rubric to follow as I help
people make the decision to cooperate.
The most helpful piece was the idea of the
golden bridge, another way of saying that
people won’t cooperate if they have to lose
face to do so.