Pacesetters Experience Chip Massey’s Unique Approach

Chip playing the role of person holding hostage and Pacesetters playing other roles

Chip Massey is a leadership consultant with an unusual specialty.  He helps executives break through the fears that hold them back from being the best leaders. The Pacesetters met with Chip on January 24, 2019 at BNY Mellon / Pershing and were delighted to interact with a former FBI agent and hostage negotiator.  He entertained them at the beginning of the meeting with some of his experiences in international espionage and hostage interrogation.  He helped the group understand that specific techniques must be used when someone is at the height of anger.  Managing our natural reaction to fight back is the key to successful outcomes.  He notes that people will remember you when you are gracious and don’t fight back to escalate an already difficult situation.

The Pacesetters are fascinated by some of Chip’s adventures in the FBI

Chip then explored some chemical brain science concepts to further explain our reactions when controversy or anger is present. He noted that facial expressions, body language and voice tone all play a role in successful outcomes.  His one caveat to the group was not necessarily intuitive and worth remembering: “Never tell another person how to feel.”  He suggested to the Pacesetters that they take charge of their own emotions and become the calm in the midst of the storm when difficult situations occur.  That way, they will become the default leaders.  He introduced other techniques and guidelines such as empathy and creativity in managing difficult situations.

The session concluded with an interactive exercise where the Pacesetters role played a hostage situation with Chip.  He taught them several techniques for managing someone who is distraught, angry or afraid, including treating the individual as a friend.  He also showed them how to look for choice topics >that the individual in distress might react to in a favorable way. These are all life skills that can be used in many different situations.

Front: Stephanie Sebag, Pacesetter Coach; Emily Keep; Emily Estevez; Alexandra Lee; Chip Massey, Presenter; Gerri Bostick, Pacesetter Chair; Veena Jayadeva; Priya Srivastava
Rear: Kelsey Duffy; Margoth Garcia; Shannon Seidel; Julie Chin; Seyda Pirinccioglu, Committee Member; Kathleen Wishashan
Attended, not pictured: Anne Elizabeth Engler, Robin Milberg, Lara Cooley