News

How to get anything you want (according to a hostage negotiator)

We like to imagine a 'good day' for an FBI hostage negotiator is being handed a megaphone, talking down a bank robber, handing back the megaphone and then getting around to sorting that Microsoft Outlook folder that's been clogged up weeks.

Similarly, we also like to think these heroes find ways to put their years of psychological diplomacy and high-stress situation training to good use in normal life, as Chris Voss, the bureau’s former International Kidnapping Negotiator, has done.

Applying his unique skillset everyday situations, Voss has all but made a second career for himself in the US media after first popping up in 2012 radio sketch entitled An FBI Hostage Negotiator Buys A Car.

And now he's gone universal, taking part in an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit and challenging users to mine his brain for whatever they’d like: "Ask me about how men and women negotiate differently, how to navigate sticky family situations, negotiating as a parent, advice for recent graduates, stories from my time in the FBI, or even how to get past a bouncer into a busy club."

Thousands of questions were asked and, perhaps unsurprisingly for a man well-versed in giving advice for a living, he was utterly fascinating.