Wednesday, March 16, 2011

NT Planet: The Power Of A Kind Word

Gary Noesner, retired FBI* Chief Negotiator, recently reflected on his work - ending with:

When I used to interview people when they had surrendered after an incident and ask them what one thing I said to make them change their mind, they would invariably reply, ‘I don’t know what you said but I liked the way you said it.’ Our genuine, sincere, and concerned tone and demeanour are the most powerful tools of influence that we know.

[Emphasis added]

These were hardened criminals, or people who had snapped, or otherwise desperate folks, who had barricaded a place and often taken hostages. Some of them had robbed, hurt and even killed people.

And even they, pace Al Capone, didn't consider a gun more important than a kind word. Every FBI agent, not to mention every other police officer on the scene as well, had at least one gun. If guns were what mattered they wouldn't need any professional negotiators, let alone a chief negotiator.

NTs (and even some Aspies - more than we might think) are moved by kind words...and kind tones of voice.

[*] U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation; the closest we in America have to a Federal police.

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