Ep.88 – Gary Noesner – It’s Not About the Nail; Lessons in Listening From a Hostage Negotiator

Paul FennerPodcast

Gary Noesner, FBI, Hostage Negotiator, Stalling for Time

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How can you link hostage negotiating with building better relationships with your family, spouse/partner, and kids? How can you keep your emotions in check when situations become intense?

Gary Noesner spent over 30 years in the FBI, ten of which were as the Chief Crisis Negotiator.  A few of you may know Gary from the Netflix series Waco, as Gary was one of the negotiators between the FBI/ATF and religious cult, the Branch Davidians, in Waco, TX.

From dealing with highly intense situations, Gary has turned his experience and expertise into helping people build better relationships through active listening. The ability to respond to someone shows that you were indeed listening.

Gary uses M&M candy on how to do this.  Consider that in every conversation you have with somebody, the chocolate center is the story, what are they trying to tell you, while the outer shell of the candy is the reflection of emotion, how are they feeling.

Gary points out that it costs nothing to be a good listener, especially with our spouse, partner, or kids.  As in most hostage situations that Gary was involved with, people want to be heard, and our families are no different.

From Gary’s perspective, the cornerstone of being a good listener and communicator is self-control. There a countless lessons in listening. Think of a teeter-totter; when emotions are high, our rational behavior goes down.  So, we must focus on our emotions and lower our temperature when situations become tense.

Please enjoy my conversation on lessons in listening with Gary Noesner.

Gary Noesner

Stalling for Time: My Life as an FBI Hostage Negotiator

Become a Better Listener.  Your Family Will Thank You

Finding The Meaningful Moments in Career, Parenting & Life

It’s Not About The Nail