Former FBI hostage-negotiation trainer shares 6 tricks for getting people to do what you want


Mark Goulston

Mark Goulston/Vimeo

Mark Goulston, a former FBI hostage negotiation trainer, role-playing.

Mark Goulston spent two years role-playing for a living.


He'd pretend to be a suicidal policeman, holding a gun to his neck, threatening to take his own life.

His job was to challenge his audience - a room full of FBI agents and police officers - to talk him out of it.

"In the end, I always pulled the trigger, and then, from the point of view of that role play, I would tell them what they could have asked and could have said that would have caused me to give up and surrender," Goulston, a psychiatrist and former FBI hostage-negotiation trainer, tells Business Insider.

Today, Goulston is a business adviser and consultant, using the skills he honed in his negotiation-training job to coach executives and employees at big corporations, including GE, IBM, and Goldman Sachs. He's also the author of "Talking to Crazy: How to Deal with the Irrational and Impossible People in Your Life."


We spoke to Goulston to learn how to get people - clients, colleagues, employees, or a boss - to do what you want at work. Here's what he said: