Through Tactical Empathy!

Never has a negotiation method been more effective ...
Even if you're the less powerful one at the bargaining table! 
Click here for free Tactical Empathy samples



Shermin Kruse’s Tactical Empathy Master Class explains what tactical empathy is and how to weaponize empathy skills to create paths to influence, even if you're the bargaining party with less power.

We're taught the path to success is through demonstrations of force or outward aggression. We should confidently articulate what we want, leave little or no room for alternative viewpoints (since they're necessarily inferior) and resort to fear and threats to gain acquiescence. Professionals try strategies of force in a variety of contexts, including deal negotiations, litigation, prelawsuit discussions, compensation decisions, changes to corporate policy, and even in sales pitches. And, as people, we utilize these strategies in our daily negotiations, whether they're about who does the dishes tonight or where to spend the holidays. Oftentimes, however, instilling fear or applying other self-focused and forceful methods isn't only ineffective, but stifles communication, erodes trust, threatens relationships and ultimately diminishes power. Other times, we simply don't have the power in the relationship to play the "fist pounding" game.

This course explores Tactical Empathy as a more effective and less expensive path to power and influence. Understanding what the “other” sitting across the table from us really wants and needs allows far more influence over the terms of the deal than pounding our fists on the table. Well-known CEOs, FBI hostage negotiators, and high-level diplomats use Shermin Kruse's tactical empathy to disarm corporate opponents and terrorists alike! It's also used by waiters to get the highest tips, teachers to educate children, advertising executives use it to sell us useless knick-knacks, and parents who need help with their teens!

When done ethically, this fearless technique of influence gets us the upper hand in the bargain at issue, while also promoting and preserving long-term relationships with our opponent, future business partner, work colleague, family member, or other counterpart. Lessons of tactical empathy are particularly applicable for corporate leaders, whether negotiating a deal, advocating for a client, mediating a dispute, influencing compensation, pitching a sale or managing teams. They also apply to our personal lives, where negotiations are plentiful.

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Shermin Kruse is a TEDx talk producer, law professor, global change-maker, complex-system negotiator, and storyteller.


Shermin Kruse is a negotiation consultant specializing in weaponizing empathy and stoicism; a law professor at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, teaching complex negotiation, global transactions, and leadership; a TEDx producer who has produced more than 50 TED and TEDx talks; and a thought leader with a long history of civic engagement. Shermin is also the author of the critically acclaimed, best-selling novel Butterfly Stitching, inspired by the true experiences of herself and the women in her family before and after the Iranian revolution. Prior to this, Shermin was a partner at the law firm of Barack Ferrazzano where she represented international and Fortune 500 companies for 17 years.

Shermin is a frequent speaker on issues relating to complex negotiation, tactical empathy, stoicism, change-agency, leadership, and professional development. She is also often asked to speak on issues of international relations, non-profit management, and civil and human rights.

Dedicated to her local and global community, Shermin is a founder of multiple charities and non-governmental organizations. She was recently named as the annual Woman Extraordinaire by the International Women Associates, featured by WomanScape Magazine for her global humanitarian work, and named one of the nation's top 100 "Women to Watch" by BizWomen Magazine, one of Chicago's most influential women by Chicago Business Journal, and one of Chicago's Women of Inspiration by Today's Chicago Magazine. She is currently authoring a textbook on global transactions issues, to be published by Northwestern Library in 2022. In addition, she is a frequent columnist and commentator for a variety of international magazines, including WomanScape, Fete Lifestyle Magazine, and The Huffington Post.

Shermin's educational alumni institutions include the University of Michigan Law School, The University of Toronto, Northwestern University School of Professional Development, and The Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Shermin is a citizen of three different countries and a mother of four, living in Chicago, Illinois.

Shermin's true passions are the understanding and advancement of human nature, and mothering her four audacious children.



“We were granted the opportunity to place these strategies into action while also trying to at complex layers on top like tonal inflection. It all really came together when we spoke about stoicism and the importance of self-control and understanding your sphere of influence. I am going to remember these teachings and I am excited to continue practicing the strategies covered in the course.”


“With such an increased use of email for communication, it was helpful to see how these strategies can be just as effective when you cannot always be speaking to the person. These lessons are something I will take with me moving forward for future job interviews and discussions, philanthropic purposes, and overall effective communication with friends or family.”


“Even though I have taken a negotiations class before, I found the curriculum in this specific course to be quite unique. I have already found myself identifying when other individuals may be using the negotiation strategies on me during our interactions whether that be purposefully or subconsciously.”



“I learned a massive amount of valuable skills and information from this class. I think it has the potential to be the most useful class I have taken because the information can apply to almost every aspect of my life.”


“Professor Kruse is a fantastic professor and taught “Negotiating with Empathy” with passion and animation. I feel like the information taught in the course will assist me with being more confident in negotiating from business to my personal life.”


“This course helped me develop my awareness of the negotiation skills that I utilize and allowed me to realize just how much I require emotion as a resource in my career as a Product Manager. Especially as one that leads through stakeholder management and relationship building, it is helpful to know more of the “How” behind the “What” of my strategies.”