PPP 412 | What A Hostage Negotiator Can Teach You About Influencing Stakeholders, with Scotland Yard detective Scott Walker

Total Duration 43:53

Earn free PDUs while learning lessons about influence from a world class hostage negotiator Download episode 412


In this episode, Andy talks with Scott Walker, who spent 16 years as a detective at Scotland Yard. Scott and Andy delve into lessons on emotional intelligence and negotiation skills gleaned from Scott's new book Order out of Chaos: Win Every Negotiation, Thrive in Adversity, and Become a World-Class Communicator.

Key takeaways include seeking to understand before being understood, managing emotional states, and using empathy to build trust. Walker also discusses the importance of buying time and, interestingly, feeding egos in negotiations. It's an engaging discussion with one of the world's most experienced kidnap-for-ransom negotiators.

Sound Bites

  • "Negotiation is simply a conversation with a purpose."
  • "Kidnappers are businessmen looking to get the right deal for them."
  • "Feeding their ego doesn't mean flattering them. It's about acknowledging their needs and concerns, making them feel heard."
  • "Success leaves clues."
  • "We need to get out of our own way, suspend our own ego, seek to understand before being understood."
  • "If you can visualize a negative outcome closely enough, you train your body and mind to get through it, reducing the power that fear can have over you."
  • "More Sherlock Holmes than Gordon Gecko."


  • 00:00 Introduction
  • 01:40 Start of Interview
  • 01:50 How is Hostage Negotiation Relevant To Business Leaders?
  • 03:33 In What Ways Are We Always Negotiating?/li>
  • 04:49 What Does It Mean to Harness Your Red Center?
  • 08:34 Accepting Where You're At
  • 11:04 Steps To Regulate Your Emotions
  • 15:29 Scenario: Nerves Before The Big Presentation
  • 21:21 When You Start to Doubt Yourself
  • 22:31 MOREPIES
  • 26:36 Feed Their Ego?
  • 30:12 Lessons for Parents
  • 33:21 Interview Wrap Up
  • 33:47 Andy Comments After the Interview
  • 40:37 Outtakes

Learn More

You can learn more about Scott and his book at ScottWalkerCoaching.com.

If you’d like more on this subject, here are some episodes to check out:

  • Episode 397, with Dr. Julia DiGangi about her book Energy Rising
  • Episode 394, with Joshua Freedman about his book on emotional intelligence
  • Episode 380, with Monica Guzman about her book on seeing problems from a different perspective, and
  • Episode 185, with Mitch Warner about their book Leadership and Self-Deception

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Thank you for joining me for this episode of The People and Projects Podcast!

Talent Triangle: Power Skills


The following music was used for this episode:

Music: Tranceverse by Sascha Ende
Free download: https://filmmusic.io/song/5223-tranceverse
License (CC BY 4.0): https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

Music: The Chillhouse by Frank Schroter
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHu8e0nk_7g
License (CC BY 4.0): https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

PDU Categories: Power Skills

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