Constructive conversations cannot take place in destructive environments.

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As a former Hostage Negotiator and Special Victims Unit Detective, I spent a great deal of my time in law enforcement navigating critical conversations with people. While no two negotiations, interviews, or interrogations were the same, my approach to finding consensus despite the contention remained fairly consistent:

I’ll make no concessions about it. Effectively communicating with people is difficult. That effective communication becomes even more difficult when we…


If you’re looking for an invite to “the table,” make sure you know how to effectively balance what you know, who you know, and how you’re known.

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Not too long ago, I sat down with a friend of mine who serves as a director within a small organization. Small as it may be, his team plays a major role in his organization’s overall success.

He came to me feeling a bit frustrated and looking for advice because he started to realize that he was being left out of key meetings. He didn’t understand why his senior leadership team wasn’t pulling on him more to speak into critical issues.

“I don’t mean to sound prideful,” he began. “But I’m the only person there who really knows and understands…


When my wife pops a booty-bubble, it gives me an opportunity to literally love her from the inside out!

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My wife and I have this thing… A sort of bedtime ritual. It goes something like this.

First, we climb into bed, and if we haven’t already done so, we’ll pray. Afterward, we will kiss and then systematically begin wrangling our arms and legs together in a game of human-spaghetti while under the blanket. We’ll do this until we are positioned perfectly and feel comfortable enough to fall asleep while tangled in each other’s bodies.

I’ll know when my wife is perfectly positioned because her body has a very specific tell; she farts. Sometimes it’s light and airy. …

Ryan Marshall Dunlap

Communication Strategist | Former Hostage Negotiator | Helping leaders identify communication malfunctions that contribute to conflict | www.RyanMDunlap.com |

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