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JB: Tell me if you can, what is it that gives you your fix on this? This is a really risky? Do you like the tension of it?
KR: I think probably just because I work best under extreme situations. I can’t think of a more extreme situation than what I just went through. Such an adrenalin rush. And when it happens and it’s good, it’s like I really made a difference. It’s that a guy’s alive because of me, because of the gift of gab. Because I was in touch with him …..
KR: Like a doctor, they’re going in there, there’s a risk every time. Look at that, look at what the positive steps are coming. Occasionally, the negatives come out, but that’s just life.
JB: Were there times when you and the team were discouraged?
KR: Yes, not about the negotiations, but because of the lack of command unity. If there was one person to answer to that would be fine. In law enforcement, there’s definitely a chain of command and you report to one person. We understand that, that’s how we are set-up.
JB: There were how many negotiating?
KR: There were around a dozen primaries. I started the second day, about one o’clock, and went through that afternoon. I got a few hours of sleep, came back and did another day. Then I was going to be for the third…I don’t know if it was the third or fourth day, they all kind of blended together. I was there from the beginning before they sent me home.
JB: When you were doing this, you had built up some rapport and you knew some insights that nobody else did even though they were listening. You had a sense of you were helping guide the conversation?
JB: Did they debrief you then?
KR: No, at the end, when everything was over.
JB: How about during a transition from you to someone else?
KR: Everybody…when we’re in the negotiation room, the secondary has had his briefing because there was a speaker in the listening room, so everybody was on the same page. Of course, they couldn’t read my thoughts. All the information I had gotten, his sister, everybody, we had debriefed them on it. Any new information that was available, everybody was given a copy, so everybody was pretty much on the same page. We talked so much in between calls that we articulated every thought within reason. Every thought, every strategy and it was kind of decided amongst during conversation, you kind of build what’s in your head.
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Copyright © 2004, John D. Baker
Copyright © 2004, The Negotiator Magazine