Monthly Archives: May 2016


BruceMJ_GraduationFinally, this past weekend on May 21, 2016 and after 8 (long) years, I graduated with my doctorate in Organizational Development from the University of Saint Thomas in Minneapolis, MN. Actually, I defended on March 17, 2016 and officially graduated on April 1, 2016. But there was some finality in walking with the other graduates and being recognized by the university president. Thanks for all of you who supported me, especially Mary Jane (MJ) Pappas, the love of my life, friend, mother of our children, and amazing human being. I’m excited to share my dissertation here in sections, but if you want a full copy, email me.

My (very) best,

Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It

Advice from Chris Vos, FBI hostage negotiator. Here are his 7 tips:

  1. Don’t be direct: Direct usually comes off as rude, no matter your intentions. Be nice and slow it down.
  2. Don’t try to get them to say “yes”: Pushing for a “yes” makes people defensive. Try to get a “no.”
  3. Do an “accusation audit”: Acknowledge all the negative things they think about you to defuse them.
  4. Let them feel in control: People want autonomy. Ask questions and let them feel like they’re in charge.
  5. The two magic words they need to say: Summarize their position to trigger a “That’s right.”
  6. Listen for levers: They might only need the orange peel. Listen, listen, listen.
  7. Keep asking “How am I supposed to do that?”: Let them solve your problems for you.

from “Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It

What are your thoughts?