In this episode, Sage Revell, a partner in Brown Rudnick's London office, interviews internationally renowned hostage negotiator Sue Williams about her work with New Scotland Yard and the FBI, as well as how her negotiation skills can transfer to the business world.

Williams has negotiated situations involving every major terrorist organization in the world throughout her 30-year-plus career. It was because of those skills that she was approached by the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford about 10 years ago to help apply that knowledge to the business world.

"I focus on how to generate influence without power and how to achieve the behavioral change of your counterparts," Williams said. "I really do believe after doing it for 10 years now, that many of the skills I've been using for decades, they do actually transfer into your world of business – you have to deal with deadlines, you have to deal with difficult people. ... When it comes to business negotiations, I like it because I'm always challenged by the questions."

Williams believes one thing that actually helped her throughout her career is the myth that women don't make good negotiators. She could fly in under the radar and use that to her advantage. She leveraged what was a perceived weakness to her advantage.

"Some women see negotiation as conflict," Williams opined. "They're very wary of it and they tend to avoid it. What I would say is change your mindset ... just really treat it like a challenge. It's just problem solving, isn't it, really? And negotiation is really just about communication – good communication – but that's all it is."

Williams has spent her career as a hostage negotiator both in the U.K. with New Scotland Yard and the FBI in the U.S. During her career she has contributed to the successful resolution of hundreds of kidnaps and hostage situations on land and the high seas. Williams is a recipient of the Queen's Police Medal. She is also an Associate Fellow of Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford and visiting lecturer at Harvard University.

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