FEATURE3 April 2019

Simon Horton in seven

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In the latest of our In Seven series, hostage negotiation trainer Simon Horton shares his advice for keeping calm when the stakes are high, tells us why more collaboration is needed in politics and highlights why empathy is so important when it comes to negotiating. 

Simon Horton in seven_crop

1 .The western political climate has become more divided, with participants increasingly unwilling to engage in constructive debate. What’s your advice for those setting the agenda?

Sadly, I think it is the politicians who are leading this polarisation because they see personal gain in it. I would encourage them to stop viewing it as a ‘my party v their party’ situation, but see each issue as a problem that can be resolved in a pragmatic, collaborative way. This would require real leadership, because someone would have to go first and break the mould. If they did, I’m sure it would be rewarded by the electorate, who are tired of the status quo.

2. How do hostage negotiators deal with fear when the stakes are so high?

Clearly, hostage situations can be very tense, but it goes with the job and anyone who applies is likely to thrive on that energy. They are usually very courageous, too. Courage ...