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Convince Me…or Else: A Real, Live Crash Course in FBI High-Stakes Communication

Role Playing for Ultra-Enhanced Critical Thinking and Convincing Strategy Skill Building

This is a one-of-a-kind complete immersion event that is unlike anything you’ve ever even considered before…

Open to the public just twice a year

Open to corporate booking by arrangement only

The phone rings. You pick up. On the other end of the line is a stranger with a thick accent. He sounds angry and unhinged. He mutters something about a manifesto and how America is finally going to pay for her sins. He isn’t kidding: He’s locked inside a national bank with 21 hostages…and a bomb.

How do you talk him out of pushing the detonator and killing everyone?

What strategies can you use to defuse him – and the situation – and save the people, your career and the bad press that will result from a deadly mistake?

And what does this dramatic life or death situation have to do with your career?

Everything. Because the skills it takes to talk this wacko out of blowing himself and 21 innocent people to kingdom come can give you the upper hand in any business situation, no matter the stakes, no matter how intense the negotiation or the situation.

Chip Massey, a former FBI negotiator, and his partner-not-in-crime Adele Cehrs, one of Washington’s top PR professionals, can teach you and your team the skills it takes to talk this wacko off the ledge (sometimes literally). These are the exact same skills it takes to:

  • Get hyper-focused on the #1 objective, quickly and effectively
  • Think fast, assess clearly and confidently, and take the appropriate action
  • Make timely, powerful right decisions every step of the way
  • Earn trust in a sensitive negotiation by communicating from a “we” instead of a “you” point of view
  • Master anyone’s roiling emotions so you can negotiate with clarity, precision, and calmness
  • Discover the fluidity of just-in-time teamwork
  • Speed read the opposition
  • Practice Forensic Listening™ to show people they are being heard
  • Defuse conflict and overcome resistance
  • Nimbly assess, evaluate and choose correctly
  • Meteorically grow your support team so everyone performs optimally
  • Know when to summon the SWAT team–when to deploy the big guns to gain a tactical advantage

 This is a High-Stakes Game with a High Return on Investment

 “FBI Hostage Negotiator” is a one and a half-day participation event that immerses you and your team in what the FBI calls an “active situation”. Team members will take turns role-playing as hostage negotiator, lead police officer, SWAT team member, SWAT team captain, and other roles. It will be up to you and your team to convince, disarm, overcome, “assassinate,” or otherwise subdue the bad guy and win freedom for our mythical hostages.

“This isn’t your typical paintball day team building event! Chip and Adele kept ratcheting up the adrenalin to make us perform at a superior level.  We discovered  strengths we didn’t know we had, as a team and as individuals.”  — John Smith, CEO of the Universe

It was so intense, my heart was in my mouth the whole time! And I just used those FBI negotiation tactics to close a deal I’d been working on for months!”  — Jane Doe, CEO of Planet Mercury

We can customized to your Needs, your People and Your Business

To keep things as real as possible and encourage teamwork, this event is limited to 12 players.  

Step One: Before the event, the organizers will schedule a call to discuss your goals and your desired outcomes, and the people you want us to particularly focus on, if any.

Typical requests might include:

Help us create more cohesive teamwork

Give us the skills to have faster response times in a crisis

Empower our team to communicate more clearly during a crisis – and in between them

Forge a sense of trust and community among our leadership team

Shore up morale after a stumble – or before one

Infuse a sense of unity, courage and innovation among our people

And custom requests too.



Step Two:  Chip and Adele will collect bios for everyone on the team. Based on your goals and your team’s dossiers, Chip and Adele will create a customized hostage situation drawn from Chip’s decades-long career as an FBI negotiator. 

Step Three: Two weeks before the event, each member of your team will receive a sealed envelope containing an FBI-style briefing on the “situation” they will face.


When you arrive onsite, we begin at once.


As with a real-world situation, there will be no “getting to know you” opening event, no mixers, and no cocktail parties. Participants are expected to arrive prepared, and “gear” related to their role be will be waiting for them on site. Roles will be switched up several times during the event so participants can learn different skills. You and your team have 36 hours to resolve the crisis or the hostages will die.

FBI Hostage Negotiator is full of unexpected twists and turns that force individuals into team players – and teams into world class performers. Every person will get to know their strengths and capabilities and those of their teammates’.  Whatever the outcome, participants will learn from both their wins and their mistakes. Your team will leave with a powerful new skillset to help them grow their careers–and your business.

FBI Hostage Negotiator: Call now to discuss options, outcomes, dates, and arrangements.


Limit: 12 participants

Duration: 2 days

Excitement factor: 10