CHIP MASSEY: MASTER NEGOTIATOR
I can only imagine a few jobs more stressful than FBI hostage negotiator. As an attorney, I enjoy negotiating and trying to get the best outcome for my clients. But at the end of my day, the
“... THE BEST WAY TO CREATE
Chip said new agent trainees are heavily evaluated on their ability to make critical connections with people. If a potential witness of a crime or someone who has information on a terrorist plot doesn’t feel they can trust you, they will never give you the information you need to stop the perpetrators. The FBI has no use for people who cannot achieve this level of trust with people. Chip found hostage negotiations were where he really excelled. The key is being able to instantly create rapport and trust with a person who is threatening violence. Failing to do so can literally mean life or death. A successful negotiation is created by concentrated focus on the conversation as it is unfolding. Chip said it’s about helping the person manage his or her fears, as well as your own fears. Chip came and spent 90 minutes with me and the members of the Long Island Business Forum on Jan. 11. The time we spent together was incredible and insightful. He spoke about how to build trust with potential clients and counterparties so that great business relationships can take place. He says, “We don’t know who to trust. The world of business is filled with wolves disguised as shepherds … [If you can] build a trust-based relationship and lead them through to the other side, [you] will win a client for life.” According to Chip, the best way to create trust is be consistent to your word. It really is the accumulation of the little commitments we make. We make the mistake of believing it takes a big overture to create trust. It’s more important showing up on time for someone consistently — making the phone call you promised to make consistently. In today’s new world order of business, giving your word means more than ever before. Those who will thrive and be the leaders in this environment, both in followers and profits, will honor their word in the little things consistently. Negotiations are built on trust and rapport. You have to have empathy. You have to actively demonstrate that you hear what is being communicated both in words and what isn’t being said.
worst that can happen is that the deal doesn’t go through. In Chip Massey’s
career, the worst that could happen is that someone would never get to go home again. Big difference.
You’d think someone who has been in such life or death situations would be a bit harder, but I have to say that
TRUST IS BE CONSISTENT TO YOUR WORD.”
Chip is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. A man of genuine warmth and interest in people, Chip retired from two very diverse fields — most recently from the FBI after 22
years, and prior to that he was an ordained minister for six years. Now he has his own business consulting firm. Naturally, he has a lot to share about the art of negotiation.
His interest in negotiation began in new agent training at the FBI Academy. Chip found he had a natural affinity and interest in connecting to people while serving as a minister. Being able to connect to people and gain their trust happens to also be a vital skill as an FBI agent.
If you find your negotiating skills need some help, I cannot recommend Chip more. Visit his website to read his insightful blog and get in touch with him.
Chip, Francine, and the members of the LIBF
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