Chapter 36The Art of Conflict Resolution

It seems a daily occurrence these days, at least it does in Los Angeles where I live. Somebody has a gun and they’ve taken a hostage. SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) teams are called in, barricades are set up, news helicopters circle overhead transmitting the live drama, as police negotiators try to resolve the conflict. Sometimes it’s a botched robbery, or an angry ex-employee who wants to settle a grievance with a boss. Sometimes the issue seems minor. In Orange County recently we had an angry parent take a school board member hostage over a dispute about his child’s education.

How do these hostage negotiators handle these conflict situations? What can we learn from them that would be helpful in our ...

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