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Talk the Talk: Negotiation with Somali Pirates

by Jeff Thompson
December 2015

Crisis Negotiator Blog by Jeff Thompson

Jeff Thompson

“Somali pirates can be clever, aggressive negotiators and they are quick to take advantage if they see weakness,” says Mr Edwards.

“You have to be robust, but at the same time you have got to show that you understand how the negotiation process works.”

In agreeing the price of exchange and executing the deal, there is a world of pitfalls and subterfuge. And after five years of dealing with hijackings off the Somali coast, Leslie Edwards has learnt nearly every pirate trick in the book.

These days, whenever the former British Army officer is called in to negotiate a ransom, he brings a checklist of “pirate tactics” with him.

So far he has counted 37 different ruses and manoeuvres. Some are more sophisticated than others, but all are designed to strike fear into the ship owners he works for and, ultimately, drive up the price paid.

Read more from the Telegraph.co.uk [HERE]

Biography


Jeff Thompson, Ph.D., is a professor at Lipscomb University, researcher, mediator, and trainer. He is also involved in crisis and hostage negotiation as well as a law enforcement detective. His research includes law enforcement crisis and hostage negotiation in terrorist incidents. He received his doctorate from Griffith University Law School having researched the impact nonverbal communication has in conflict situations with respect to developing rapport, building trust, and displaying professionalism.

Dr. Thompson has presented and trained on the topic of conflict, mediation, (crisis and hostage) negotiation, communication and nonverbal communication internationally for a variety of audiences including police personnel, government officials, judges, attorneys, physicians, sales people, business professionals, and both graduate and undergraduate students. He has also been published in numerous professional and academic publications.

He is the co-chair of ACR's national Crisis Negotiation Section, and he is an ad-hoc reviewer for multiple academic journals. He received his MS in Negotiation and Dispute Resolution from the Werner Institute, Creighton University School of Law.

(All posts by Jeff Thompson represent his personal reflections and opinions and not that of any organization.)



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