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Hostage at the Table: How Leaders Can Overcome Conflict, Influence Others, and Raise Performance

ISBN: 978-1-118-04711-8
272 pages
January 2011, Jossey-Bass
Hostage at the Table: How Leaders Can Overcome Conflict, Influence Others, and Raise Performance (1118047117) cover image


George Kohlrieser—an international leadership professor, consultant, and veteran hostage negotiator—explains that it is only by openly facing conflict that we can truly progress through the most difficult business challenges. In this provocative book, he reveals how the proven techniques and psychological insights used in hostage negotiation can be applied successfully to any personal or business relationship. Step by step, he outlines the seven key factors that anyone can use to remove the blocks that stand in the way of resolving tough problems and shows how business leaders, in particular, can develop and access the skills they need to create trust and a positive mind-set in their companies.
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Table of Contents

Foreword by Joe W. Forehand.


1. Are You Being Held Hostage Without Knowing It?

2. Finding Freedom Through Your Mind's Eye.

3. The Potential of the Bonding Cycle.

4. The Strength of a Secure Base.

5. The Art of Conflict Management.

6. Effective Dialogue.

7. The Power of Negotiation.

8. Mastering Our Emotions.

9. Living with a Hostage-Free State of Mind.



The Author.


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Author Information

George Kohlrieser is an organizational and clinical psychologist. He is professor of leadership and organizational behavior at the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) and a consultant to global organizations around the world.
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"interesting and convincing" (Ascot News, December 2006)

"Read this book…" (Reading Chronicle, December 2006)


"George Kohlrieser's brilliant book offers a unique and penetrating perspective on how people can free themselves from being held hostage to their self-imposed limitations. Hostage at the Table is filled with inspiring stories and the depth of Kohlrieser's insights that will enable the reader to become a fully empowered leader. It is a must-read."
—Bill George, author, Authentic Leadership; former chairman & CEO, Medtronic

"In Hostage at the Table George Kohlrieser brings his unique expertise in the emotional land mines of negotiation to the challenges of leadership. Leaders everywhere will find much of practical use in this smart and engaging look at the emotional undercurrents that make or break an organization."
—Daniel Goleman, author, Emotional Intelligence

"George Kohlrieser's deep and insightful thinking on leadership has had a fundamental impact on our company. His teachings have changed my life. Read this book, and it will change yours, too."
—Nick Shreiber, president and CEO, Tetra Pak Group 2000-2005

"A new look at what every leader needs to know about controlling emotions, relating, dialoging, negotiating, and breaking free of being hostage to the past or to one's current environment. This book is a practical masterpiece."
—Jim Allen, M.D., professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City; president, International Transactional Analysis Association

"George Kohlrieser offers us a fascinating and valuable blend of rich psychological insight into the delicate process of negotiation mixed with his powerful personal experiences as a hostage and a hostage negotiator. I recommend the book!"
—William Ury, author, Getting Past No and The Third Side

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