We live in challenging times..

Polarised views. Toxic echo chambers. The degradation of public debate. It begs the question, whatever happened to the art of listening? And yet, as our founder Richard Mullender says, ‘You’ll never persuade anyone by talking at them. You’ll only ever persuade them by listening to them.’

Our focus here at The Listening Institute is to bring the elite level listening skills that we use as hostage negotiators into the corporate world. Once you know what to listen for in any negotiation, you can truly understand who you’re talking to. And once you genuinely understand them you can boost your power to influence significantly.

Who are we?

The Listening Institute is a professional body dedicated to promoting listening skills in business.

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What’s our remit?

The transfer of hostage negotiation thought leadership into the business arena.

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How did we develop our curriculum?

It was developed by Richard Mullender, with the aid of our agents and cross-sector industry leaders worldwide.

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Someone listening and taking notes

The case for listening in business

Business is all about building relationships. Sometimes in a very short space of time. Each side needs to come away feeling they’ve done well. Which means the more successful the relationship, the better the deal.

A group of people listening

To pitch at an elite level, you first have to listen at an elite level

Listening should come before we make any proposition. Because it’s only when you find out what makes another person tick, that you can pitch a killer argument. An argument that appeals to their agenda, values and beliefs. To discover what’s important them, let them speak - preferably uninterrupted - while you listen.

Two people talking and listening

Good business demands good listening skills

Having listened - knowing what a particular client, prospect, supplier or colleague feels, and what’s important to them - you can sell them a course of action. Successfully. Because your words will resonate with them.

An unfair advantage?

People ask whether our training gives delegates an unfair advantage. It’s a fair point. The skills we teach do give delegates powerful insights into a person’s values and beliefs. This undoubtedly boosts their power to influence.

Fundamentally we operate on trust, but to prevent misuse, our CSR policy requires us to vet all delegates for our most advanced course; Mind Mastery. The vetting process is short and attitudinal, not data-based, so if necessary, it can take place on the day.

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Who delivers your training?

All our training is delivered exclusively by UK Government hostage negotiators

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Can you meet my organisation-specific needs?

When you choose our custom-fit training we’ll co-design a course to address your goals.

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Do you have a course guide?

You can download it here or call 020 3997 0994 for a printed copy.

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Profile of Philip Williams

Meet your hostage negotiator trainer

Philip Williams



Counter Terrorist Command - London 7/7 suicide attacks onwards

Click below to learn more about Phillip and our team of ex-government hostage negotiators that you'll meet on our courses.

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“Outstanding. Really thought-provoking and motivating. You made us think completely differently. I was left with 160 very happy guests.”
Claire Harris, Director of Field Sales, BT
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