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


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (June 16, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0787983845
  • ISBN-13: 978-0787983840
  • Product Dimensions: 2.4 x 3.6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #164,324 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"interesting and convincing" (Ascot News, December 2006)

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


 

Review

"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


More About the Author

George Kohlrieser is an organizational and clinical psychologist. He is Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behavior and the creator and director of the flagship High Performance Leadership Program at one of the world's leading business schools, IMD (International Institute for Management Development).

Incorporating the lessons he learned as a psychologist and hostage negotiator, George has worked with global companies and their leaders in over 100 countries. Additionally, he has worked with the police, the military and humanitarian organizations in such hot spots as Israel, the Palestinian territories and Croatia as well as with other police departments and police academies around the world. In the course of his work, he has been taken hostage four times. Each time, using Secure Base Leadership skills, he successfully negotiated his way out. His first book, "Hostage at the Table: How Leaders Can Overcome Conflict, Influence Others, and Raise Performance," was an international best seller won the "Best Business Book Award 2007" from DCF (French Association of Business Leaders) and "Best Management Book 2008" in Germany from Managementbuch.de.

George had his own acclaimed radio call-in talk show, "Matters of the Mind," for over a decade. He has been a guest on the BBC, CNN, ABC and CBS, and his work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the Economist and other leading newspapers and magazines.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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This very valuable book is insightful, easy to read and highly motivational.
Francisco Szekely
We are drawn into a compelling inner dialogue around our assumptions and beliefs as well as our desires and dreams.
Yvonne O'Reilly, Managing Partner, Avanteam Consult
George Kohlrieser, in his book « Hostage at the Table », shows brilliantly how applied leadership works.
A. G. Howell

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Emmanuel Kondylis on April 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book is a masterpiece in terms both of content and reader friendliness!

It is a distillation of the wisdom from an extraordinary, life long, experience of the author, on countless business - and not only - leadership settings, practically in any part of the world.

The reader will be walked through "an emotional experience that will stimulate his heart, mind and spirit", so that - in a unique practical way - will be taken to "new places in his personal and professional life".

He will understand (1) the power of the mind's eye (the way we view the world - "weltanschaung"), (2) the primary need ("just like air, food and water") of a secure base ("never to be left without one!") that results from bonding to other people and from bonding to stimulating concepts (goals, countries, objects, beliefs, religions...) and (3) the art of conflict resolution (through effective dialogue, negotiations and E.Q. management).

Based on the above ideas, Professor George Kohlrieser is showing to all of us how to live with a "hostage-free state of mind" and to achieve high performance in our lives and our corporations.

George concludes: "Take time to reclaim yourself and decide to be who you want to be. Live life as an adventure, a journey, and view it as an opportunity to learn, to contribute, to grow every minute, every hour, every day. Accept the tremendous power that is within you, and, with humility, make the choices that you want in order to enable your life to be fulfilling with a hostage-free state of mind".

Personally, I would like to express publicly my sincere gratitude for the opportunity that I had to read this exceptional book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Franklin R. Wilkins on June 29, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Forget about this is a business book - this is a life book! I have been lucky enough to work with associates who have been familiar with Dr. Kohlrieser's philosophies of dealing with conflict.

I am currently dealing with several challenges in my life, and reading this book has allowed me to deal with those challenges and move to a "hostage free" state of mind. This book has made such an impact personally and professionally that I ordered 5 books for my brothers and several friends. I unfortunately ordered too few and I am now placing another order for 5 more.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Francisco Szekely on June 28, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Hostage at the Table is a "breakthrough" book for all those who practice and teach conflict management and conflict resolution. Through his practical and highly relevant experience as hostage negotiator with the Police department in Ohio, Dr. Kohlrieser has created a wonderful metaphor which helps to understand why many times we become a hostage of our past and of our own perceptions. This very valuable book is insightful, easy to read and highly motivational.

As a Management Professor in Germany and a certified coach I am already using Dr. Kohlrieser's book with top executives and my clients. Hostage at the Table is already a "classical" in management development education. Every coach must read Dr. Kohlrieser's book

Dr. Francisco Szekely.

Adjunct Professor of Responsible Leadership

European School of Management and Technology, Germany

And former Deputy Minister of Environment and Natural resources of Mexico
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Courant on April 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I found this work to be a good reference to a collection of many other works. I would not consider this a book for "reading." It has some useful gems, but is sometimes redundant and repetitive.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Betty on September 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book makes a compelling argument for similarities between actual hostage situations and business relationships. Similar to hostage situations, the balance of power can be abused in the business world. The author provides a formal analysis of the basis for the abuses and approaches to deal with abusive business relationships. This book provides real solutions based on solid research and knowledge.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Peter J. Meyers on July 19, 2006
Format: Hardcover
For anyone who has ever felt bullied in a conversation, reading this book is like getting a proverbial black-belt in interpersonal Aikido. George Kohlrieser has identified the crucial elements for establishing an authentic connection with anyone in any situation and provides a sure-fire approach creating influence through constructive dialogue. His style is clear, concise and vivid with an array of stories from the front line that are as instructive as they are entertaining. Hostage At The Table is a terrific resource for leaders, educators, salespeople, and anyone who relies on negotiation to get results. I enjoyed every page!
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Format: Hardcover
The title of this review was suggested by Ernest Becker's key insight in his last book, Denial of Death. He acknowledges that no one can reject physical death but there is another death that can be denied: That which occurs when we become wholly preoccupied with fulfilling others' expectations of us. This is what George Kohlrieser has in mind when observing in the Preface, "I discovered that my learnings as a hostage negotiator could be applied successfully to situations of powerlessness and entrapment in which a person is a metaphorical hostage rather than a physical hostage. In fact, such potential `hostage' situations occur everyday professionally and personally. My goal in this book is to offer what I learned as a hostage negotiator for you to apply in situations in which you may be a metaphorical `hostage' in your life."

Although there is a reference to "leaders" in this book's subtitle, in fact [begin italics] anyone [end] can become a "hostage," either to another person (or persons) or to a self-defeating illusion or delusion. As Kohlrieser confides, he endured what had become a "negative ordeal" years ago while preparing to become a Roman Catholic priest. "I had, in fact, become what I now understand to be a hostage to my own conflicting emotions about being in the seminary." Fortunately, his confidant (""a wise extraordinary man" named Father Edward Mariarz) reassured him, "George, you are free. You have the right to choose to do whatever you want." That was a defining moment in his life.

As he now realizes, that in becoming a hostage to his emotions, "I had stayed in that situation long after it was time to leave. I was hostage to my grief about leaving what was familiar and all the benefits and security it brought.
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