Being a hostage impedes. One must strive to get out of the hostage mindset and situation to realize peace. This review analyzes George Kohlrieser's approaches from peacebuilding perspective.

George Kohlrieser is a professor of leadership and organizational behavior, psychologist, and veteran hostage negotiator. In his book Hostage at the Table, he contends that conflict resolution is not difficult if we understand how human self-esteem operates. He believes that deep within humans reside slumbering powers that most of us do not even activate. These latent powers can revolutionize our lives if aroused and put into action.

In the following pages, we explore his ideas in three steps. First, we look at his premises: the bonding and secure bases as a base of relationships and motivation of basic needs, the broken bond or loss as a source of conflict, and conflict management through the lens of healthy bonding. Second, we explore the tools that Kohlrieser offers to the negotiator: seeing through the mind’s eye and understanding, controlling, and using these emotions. Finally, we discuss dialogue as the element that brings together the elements of bonding, seeing through the mind’s eye, and harnessing energy for the common benefit. In this way, dialogue can be understood as an indispensable stage of negotiation in every step.

In our review, we aim to bring alive the concepts of the author through connections with the responsible negotiation approach; however, this exercise is also vigilant of potential limitations of Kohlrieser’s approach and tools.

Author Bio

Bimal Dahal, Muhammad Ilyas, Erika Krajcovicova, Myriam Marcuello-Lopez, Abdulah Saleh, and Shadi Sheikh SarafAuthors are research students at Brandeis University, Waltham, USA.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License


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