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Verbal Judo: The Gentle Art of Persuasion

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Improve communication, resolve conflicts, and avoid the most common conversational disasters through simple, easily remembered strategies that deflect and redirect negative behaviour. Verbal Judo is the martial art of the mind and mouth that can show you how to be better prepared in every verbal encounter. Listen and speak more effectively, engage people through empathy (th Improve communication, resolve conflicts, and avoid the most common conversational disasters through simple, easily remembered strategies that deflect and redirect negative behaviour. Verbal Judo is the martial art of the mind and mouth that can show you how to be better prepared in every verbal encounter. Listen and speak more effectively, engage people through empathy (the most powerful word in the English language), avoid the most common conversational disasters, and use proven strategies that allow you to successfully communicate your point of view and take the upper hand in most disputes.


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Improve communication, resolve conflicts, and avoid the most common conversational disasters through simple, easily remembered strategies that deflect and redirect negative behaviour. Verbal Judo is the martial art of the mind and mouth that can show you how to be better prepared in every verbal encounter. Listen and speak more effectively, engage people through empathy (th Improve communication, resolve conflicts, and avoid the most common conversational disasters through simple, easily remembered strategies that deflect and redirect negative behaviour. Verbal Judo is the martial art of the mind and mouth that can show you how to be better prepared in every verbal encounter. Listen and speak more effectively, engage people through empathy (the most powerful word in the English language), avoid the most common conversational disasters, and use proven strategies that allow you to successfully communicate your point of view and take the upper hand in most disputes.

30 review for Verbal Judo: The Gentle Art of Persuasion

  1. 4 out of 5

    Eduardo Santiago

    [November 2018 update: I just noticed there's a Second Edition. Please note that my review is for the First; I have not read the Second, so please do not be discouraged from reading that because of my review.] This is material I need to recommend; I just can't recommend this book. At least not to my friends, not to the people I hang out with or care about. Read Nonviolent Communication instead. Please. Verbal Judo is... disturbing. It's about communication, but the undertone is about lying and pre [November 2018 update: I just noticed there's a Second Edition. Please note that my review is for the First; I have not read the Second, so please do not be discouraged from reading that because of my review.] This is material I need to recommend; I just can't recommend this book. At least not to my friends, not to the people I hang out with or care about. Read Nonviolent Communication instead. Please. Verbal Judo is... disturbing. It's about communication, but the undertone is about lying and pretending to empathize in order to get people to do what you want: "The other person will believe you're trying to understand. Whether you really are interested is irrelevant." (p.81) Halfway through the book, I almost abandoned it. I was feeling upset, dejected, cheapened. But I persisted, picking it up again after a day. Now I don't know. My best guess is that the author has developed compassion, has grown into a decent human, but is using a gruff tone to reach a coarser target audience. Bubbas for whom "listen" is a four-letter word. This is an all-macho book. Maybe he's hoping to civilize a few people by surprise? I don't know. I'll hope that's it, and wish him well. There is important material in Verbal Judo: stuff that is critically important to know to lead a better life. But to my friends and loved ones: please read Marshall Rosenberg's Nonviolent Communication. That's about being a better person, developing better relationships, about caring. Not just pretending.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Zach

    After reading some reviews I really wanted to love this book. In fact, I immediatly marched out and purchased it as soon as I heard of it. As a professional working in the behavioral health field I was excited to get a text that utilized a practical rather than soley theoretical viewpoint. I found neither a practical "street smart" or empirically based material in this book. Perhaps 10 out of over 200 pages actually covers any real skills or techniques. The rest is bravado, some honest self refl After reading some reviews I really wanted to love this book. In fact, I immediatly marched out and purchased it as soon as I heard of it. As a professional working in the behavioral health field I was excited to get a text that utilized a practical rather than soley theoretical viewpoint. I found neither a practical "street smart" or empirically based material in this book. Perhaps 10 out of over 200 pages actually covers any real skills or techniques. The rest is bravado, some honest self reflection that doesn't seem like intentional teaching moments, and attempts to persuade the authors main market, police officers. The stories about the hostage taker and the man who almost took his own life in a bath tub were horrifying. It was not horrifying because of the way he laid out the narrative. I was scared that he may have been so callous and misguided to speak to people in crisis the way he did. The idea of utilizing empathy as a springboard in crisis is sound. The problem is that this author doesn't explain or seem to understand what the concepts mean other than as buzzwords. This could have been a memoir about a man's search for personal transformation and change, but that is as far is it goes.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Dave

    I picked this book up at work one night while rotating through what seemed like endless constant observation of patients, one after the other, through the night. In my job working with psychiatric patients, words are important and can mean the difference between calming a volatile situation or blowing it up into something violent, unpredictable and dangerous. So I was intrigued by a number of articles I read in Psychiatric Times that all pointed to this book and the concepts it teaches in order I picked this book up at work one night while rotating through what seemed like endless constant observation of patients, one after the other, through the night. In my job working with psychiatric patients, words are important and can mean the difference between calming a volatile situation or blowing it up into something violent, unpredictable and dangerous. So I was intrigued by a number of articles I read in Psychiatric Times that all pointed to this book and the concepts it teaches in order to gain voluntary compliance in tough situations. I've been noticing recently that many times when talking to patients, my intentions and their results are often wildly divergent. I realize that some of this is due to my audience- you can't expect reason from those suffering through acute psychosis or the effects of alcohol or narcotics withdrawl. Still, after careful introspection and examination, I concluded that much of the blame for situations that erupted in physical confrontation lay with me and the way in which I approached a person in distress, my physical demeanor and often my speech. So with that in mind, I started reading this book and it was an eye opener. The author is an ex University professor of rhetoric who left that position to become a cop in LA, so he has both the classical education in communication and the practical knowledge of someone who must, literally, speak correctly to stay alive. He outlines a very simple program that stresses always keeping some emotional distance between yourself and your words; knowing your audience well enough to guess what might work and what won't; outlining exactly those phrases that intend to quell an intense situation but instead inflame it; and above all else, in most situations, will allow a person to comply with your wishes without losing face. Before even finishing the book, I had an opportunity one morning to put it into practice. A patient was agitated and nothing much seemed to get through to him. As the nurses were getting medication ready, I approached the man and started talking to him using some of the tools that Thompson outlines to cut through a verbal tirade and get him to be quiet and listen to me. I wasn't confident that it would work, although in the past I've been able to stumble through encounters like this and end up at a relatively positive outcome. I was surprised however at how effectively Thompson's techniques worked to quiet the patient and quell the situation. So I'm sold. My next goal is to try to apply these techniques to my interpersonal communication, where it's much more difficult to keep a professional attitude. I'll update...

  4. 5 out of 5

    Leslie Lewis

    I guess I was expecting more. The whole book felt like a big promotion to take the guy's seminar. By page sixty, the author was still going on and on about how helpful the book was going to be without having given any helpful information. The actual helpful bits are scattered around and have to be gleaned while plowing through a lot of bragging and peacocking behavior. A lot of what the guy tells you is common sense. Maybe if you are a very angry male who has no idea why his wife wants to divorc I guess I was expecting more. The whole book felt like a big promotion to take the guy's seminar. By page sixty, the author was still going on and on about how helpful the book was going to be without having given any helpful information. The actual helpful bits are scattered around and have to be gleaned while plowing through a lot of bragging and peacocking behavior. A lot of what the guy tells you is common sense. Maybe if you are a very angry male who has no idea why his wife wants to divorce him and his children think he's a jerk, then it could help. But, then again, there are a lot of people like that out there so maybe this book was meant for them.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Rickswan

    I'm currently working temporarily as a Military Policeman for the Marine Corps, and this thing called "verbal judo" is frequently mentioned, so I thought I would check out this book. Personally I have a bachelor's degree in criminal justice, a few classes in psychology, and I've read books about communication... so I started the book with some formal education on interpersonal communication. So did it offer anything insightful or unique? Let's see... Well, the first warning sign was the whole "g I'm currently working temporarily as a Military Policeman for the Marine Corps, and this thing called "verbal judo" is frequently mentioned, so I thought I would check out this book. Personally I have a bachelor's degree in criminal justice, a few classes in psychology, and I've read books about communication... so I started the book with some formal education on interpersonal communication. So did it offer anything insightful or unique? Let's see... Well, the first warning sign was the whole "guru" nature of the presentation, which I'm always leery about. I cringe when I see books that say things like "with my extensive training, you can trust that my advice will work for you." One of the first actual sentences in the book is this absolutist statement: "Verbal Judo can help in every profession and can greatly enhance our personal lives." Hmm... The actual first strike was this collection of sentences: "I’m a middle-aged jock with a chip on his shoulder who could just as easily scream in your face and wrestle you to the floor as smile and calm the situation with a well-chosen word. Don’t I sound like an English Ph.D.? I’m just like you. If I get cut off in traffic, my first impulse is revenge." Yeah, that's not really like me at all... "If someone barks at me, my first reaction is to take his head off... It makes me chuckle to realize how quickly I can shake a fist (or a digit) at another driver while on my way to the airport to fly somewhere and teach my course on proper responses to negative situations."So, this fellow just told me he's a jock with poor impulse control, but his stealth boast about how he has a Ph.D is supposed to make me bow before his authority on the subject of interpersonal communication? The second strike was when he explained the difference between "Nice People, Difficult People, and Wimps." So a nice person does what you ask if you're in a position of authority, a difficult person fights everything (the author says he's one of these, go figure), and a wimp is a coward who is agreeable to your face but then fights you behind your back. Alright, hold up - nothing in life is that simple. He explains about wimps: "When I’m teaching Verbal Judo and I hear people mutter, 'That’s a bunch of garbage,' I don’t let it pass. I say, 'Excuse me, what was that you said? I’d like to know.' When they try to wave me off or laugh it away, I persist. 'No, tell me so I can speak to it.' The Wimp has been stripped of his cover and now he has to put up or shut up. Now he can either make a legitimate point, ask a question, or shut up. And if he shuts up he has lost credibility with his peers. If nothing else, that eliminates the sniping. Many think it’s best to ignore Wimps, but that’s just another form of resisting them. Ignored or resisted, they grow stronger. The basic principle here is to confront them honestly. They immediately weaken."... yeah dude, people aren't stupid. I get it - you don't like people talking behind your back, publicly weakening your position. Nobody likes that... but people at your seminars don't say these things directly to your face because you hold all the power there. As soon as you call them out, they get embarrassed, and they know they aren't going to win that fight. It's like when a drill instructor says something along the lines of "do any of you recruits have a problem with [X]? If you do, raise your hand. Nobody is raising their hands, so nobody must have a problem with it." - It's a lose-lose scenario to be a "difficult person" in such an instance, so it's not black and white. Sometimes it's beneficial to be nice, difficult, or even a so-called "wimp." People can be nice to the officer giving them a ticket and still fight them in court. Sorry, let's move on... STRIP PHRASES: "I asked to see his driver’s license and he responded with a bunch of curses. Almost without thinking, I said, 'Well, I ’preciate that, sir, but I need to see your license.' He kind of laughed me off but produced his license. Later it struck me that my colloquial use of the word ’preciate was the key. So I used ’preciate that as what I now call a 'strip phrase,' a deflector that strips the insult of its power."... what the f**k? I get it, but... okay, moving on... The final strike was simply chapter after chapter of acronyms and guru rules (gurules?). He even says, "you'll find I'm big on acronyms." Well I'm not. I'm in the military and that sh*t is ridiculous. I hate acronyms because they're counter-productive. They are meant to help you remember, but when everything is an acronym, you no longer can tell what the acronym is supposed to stand for. Here's an example, from the Navy: ADCOMSUBORDCOMPHIBSPAC. Anyway, who ever legitimately enjoys when some guru gives you a new acronym or rule to memorize? Here are some of Mr. Thompson's rules and acronyms: • PAVPO • LEAPS • SAFER • "My rule is: Treat everyone the same (with REspect and dignity), but don’t talk to everyone the same way" • "a few simple guidelines for taking criticism" (5 items) • The Elements of Communication (tone, pace, pitch, modulation) • "start with the Sword of Insertion, a wedge into the harangue like 'Whoa!' or 'Listen!' (spoken earnestly, not in anger) or 'Wait a second.'" • THE ULTIMATE EMPATHETIC SENTENCE: “Let me be sure I heard what you just said.” • "Remember the ancient principle: Look good, sound good, or no good" • FOURTEEN BENEFITS OF PARAPHRASING ... etcetera, etcetera. All of this is made even worse by the unnecessarily verbose writing. That short bullet-point list I made up there would probably have been more useful than the actual book. The actual substance is minimal, filled with boasts, explanations and stories. This book desperately needs an editor with a copy of "Strunk and White: Elements of Style" right next to the keyboard. Basically, "verbal judo" boils down to good use of interpersonal communication, things like empathy and paraphrasing so both parties understand each other. tl;dr: I think the popularity of this book boils down to this: "Verbal Judo" sounds more badass than "Effective Interpersonal Communication."

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jay

    Dr. Thompson has worked as an English teacher, a police officer and a consultant. Communication is a major key in his life. As a cop he had to figure out how to get people to comply with lawful directions without resorting to physically making them follow instructions. For example, "I stopped you for speeding sir. Please give me your driver's license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance." "No." Now what? This book discusses things not to say, dead end arguments, talking yourself into a cor Dr. Thompson has worked as an English teacher, a police officer and a consultant. Communication is a major key in his life. As a cop he had to figure out how to get people to comply with lawful directions without resorting to physically making them follow instructions. For example, "I stopped you for speeding sir. Please give me your driver's license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance." "No." Now what? This book discusses things not to say, dead end arguments, talking yourself into a corner, and, how to get things done without creating an enemy and using force. This book and its concepts are taught to police officers and teachers. (I was directed to read it through a UCLA course in teaching.) It just might save you from a frustrating experience with a friend, loved one, co-worker, waittress, or complete stranger. (In complete stranger are another subject I guess.)

  7. 5 out of 5

    Doug Haynes

    I read this because it was recommended by a friend because it had some good points. It does, however the good points could have been summed up in about 7 pages.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Liz Minski

    Okay - the practices are sound. The delivery leaves much to be desired.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    The late George J. Thompson (died 2011) trained in judo and aikido before becoming a police officer in his early 30s. In that career he noticed that some of the police he worked with seemed to have a natural talent for defusing conflicts and calming people under stress. It was something that didn't come naturally to him, so he began to analyze what those good communicators were doing and started seeing a similarity to between their verbal styles and Judo ("the gentle way") and Aikido ("unifying The late George J. Thompson (died 2011) trained in judo and aikido before becoming a police officer in his early 30s. In that career he noticed that some of the police he worked with seemed to have a natural talent for defusing conflicts and calming people under stress. It was something that didn't come naturally to him, so he began to analyze what those good communicators were doing and started seeing a similarity to between their verbal styles and Judo ("the gentle way") and Aikido ("unifying spirit way"). From that he developed five universal truths: 1. All people want to be treated with dignity and respect. 2. All people want to be asked rather than being told to do something. 3. All people want to know why they are being asked to do something. 4. All people want to be given options rather than threats. 5. All people want a second chance when they make a mistake. Thompson took his verbal judo classes around the country to various police forces for training. He notes that he was scheduled to train police in Los Angeles the week after the Rodney King beating, and wonders whether that situation would have been handled differently. In this book Thompson expands on the ideas for other areas of people's lives. He has chapters on parenting, managing, marriage, and other areas in which you need to make your feelings known, have priorities, and want to communicate with others without escalating conflict. This isn't manipulation. Rather it involves empathy. It's trying to understand what others are trying to communicate, making sure you understand, and then speaking back to those people in a way that honors their needs. Thompson uses interactions with his own son and wife. He also offers plenty of examples of using it in life-or-death situation while he was a policeman to show that if the techniques will work there that they can work in areas where there's less at stake. It's written in a conversational style, with real world examples and tips for controlling your own emotions when you feel verbally attacked. With or without the book, the "five universal truths" should be on every office wall, teacher's desk, and home refrigerator as a regular reminder.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Molly

    Kind of a repetitive book, but definitely helpful in laying out strategies for dealing with difficult people -- I wish I'd read it earlier; it's already been useful in dealing with difficult library patrons. Kind of a repetitive book, but definitely helpful in laying out strategies for dealing with difficult people -- I wish I'd read it earlier; it's already been useful in dealing with difficult library patrons.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Brandon Barnes

    Well, this was an experience. I grabbed this book off the Audible sale a few days ago. Right off the bat, I want to say that there were some excellent suggestions and tips. I'm glad I read this book. However... This dude is basically an 80s movie cop that frequently quotes the Samurai 'masters' while being an expert in communications in the fields of law enforcement, teaching, parenting, sales, and a host of other things. Also, he saved several people life with his words. Seriously. You can look it Well, this was an experience. I grabbed this book off the Audible sale a few days ago. Right off the bat, I want to say that there were some excellent suggestions and tips. I'm glad I read this book. However... This dude is basically an 80s movie cop that frequently quotes the Samurai 'masters' while being an expert in communications in the fields of law enforcement, teaching, parenting, sales, and a host of other things. Also, he saved several people life with his words. Seriously. You can look it up...Wait, don't do that! Like I said, some good stuff, but there is a lot of BS and repetition and redundancy and saying the same thing.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Miroku Nemeth

    Another recommendation from a fellow scholar of violence and, more importantly, avoiding violence.

  13. 4 out of 5

    High Plains Library District

    George J. Thompson presents on the effectiveness of persuasion in conflict. He draws from his career as a police officer with several instances of high-pressure conflict from difficult arrests to defusing volatiles situations to hostage negotiations. It's worth noting he covers a few of his notable mistakes along the way and what he learned from them. While I hope to never have to talk my way through any situations as tense as those, the principles of Verbal Judo transfer to anyone who ever has d George J. Thompson presents on the effectiveness of persuasion in conflict. He draws from his career as a police officer with several instances of high-pressure conflict from difficult arrests to defusing volatiles situations to hostage negotiations. It's worth noting he covers a few of his notable mistakes along the way and what he learned from them. While I hope to never have to talk my way through any situations as tense as those, the principles of Verbal Judo transfer to anyone who ever has difficult encounters with other people. Thompson's techniques involve meeting conflict with diplomacy and using a conversation to obtain voluntary compliance without use of threats or ultimatums. And who doesn't want to find the everybody wins in any given situation? He gives a lot of steps, and I honestly won't remember a checklist of Verbal Judo techniques the next time I have a difficult encounter with someone from whom I need compliance. Still, the major concepts are not difficult to grasp, and having a mental roadmap from disagreement to agreement is invaluable. A short read with practical tips.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jack Hansen

    A great book that teaches how to persuade others to comply with a desirable behavior that diffuses crises. Thinking before one speaks and using restraint to control emotional reactions is also essential. The author, George J. Thompson, uses his personal experiences working in law enforcement to perfect his rationale to be a successful interventionist. The book is full of scenarios which, he admits, he cannot always recall, at the spur of the moment, the proper techniques necessary to handle ever A great book that teaches how to persuade others to comply with a desirable behavior that diffuses crises. Thinking before one speaks and using restraint to control emotional reactions is also essential. The author, George J. Thompson, uses his personal experiences working in law enforcement to perfect his rationale to be a successful interventionist. The book is full of scenarios which, he admits, he cannot always recall, at the spur of the moment, the proper techniques necessary to handle every situation. Thompson recommends the book be a reference source, once read, that requires review from time to time.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Annie

    This book has a lot of examples and techniques for having conversations in extremely confrontational situations, like with criminals/culprits, angry customers, and difficult coworkers. Since the author is drawing from his work experience in the police force, the emphasis is on defusing a situation. This may not apply to most people in their daily interactions with people. There are some good suggestions on statements not to say (you wouldn't understand, because those are the rules, it's none of y This book has a lot of examples and techniques for having conversations in extremely confrontational situations, like with criminals/culprits, angry customers, and difficult coworkers. Since the author is drawing from his work experience in the police force, the emphasis is on defusing a situation. This may not apply to most people in their daily interactions with people. There are some good suggestions on statements not to say (you wouldn't understand, because those are the rules, it's none of your business, what do you want me to do about it, calm down, I'm not going to say this again, I'm doing this for your own good, and why don't you be reasonable). These statements put the listener off and never make the situation better. The author gives alternatives to all these statements (let me try to explain this, the reason for this decision is..., I'm not comfortable talking about this, sorry I would like to help but I can't, it's going to all right, talk to me, it's important you understand this so let me say it again, and let me see if I understand your position). Essentially, regardless of how the other person is behaving, treat the person with dignity and respect. The goal is to move the conversation in a positive direction, not escalate it to anger and violence. It's more important to be effective than to be right in a conversation.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Veselin Nikolov

    No matter how many books I read on the subject they never cease to amaze me. People are complicated, you and I are complicated too. Our instincts are primitive and we should not resort to them when crafting our responses. The book is short but dense. Took me awhile, I had to take breaks after each chapter.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Pam

    I loved this book. There is nothing new; it is full of common sense, but it is written in a way that made me continuously reflect on my common responses as a middle school teacher, a family member, a human. It helped me make new goals, gave me concrete skills to implement, and will definitely be reread enough times that responses become natural, professional, and empathetic.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kelli

    Especially in our world today I truly believe that everyone should read this book. The principals he teaches would positively change our world. So many are disrespectful and let their egos get in the way and the principals he teaches will have us all living and working together respectfully. Even as I had not finished completely I started to implement some into my interactions and could see a difference in how others reacted to my changing me and my communication.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Vicki

    Useful refresher on how to get the best out of communication situations

  20. 5 out of 5

    TEELOCK Mithilesh

    This is the best book for ending confrontations through the use of talking. The techniques can be used to diffuse hostage situations, let alone prevent a violent occurrence. Social connections can be created to avert potential disasters. Invoking a sense of mutuality will temporarily disable a hostile party, which generates time for a surefire response.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    Excellent book on thinking before you speak!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Dorothy Bayles

    Great book to learn verbal skills and interpersonal relationship values. Must read for parents. Great for learning to navigate personally and professionally.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Virgilio Machado

    Very interesting self-help/personal growth book. Difficult to put into practice without some persistence and re-reading. A few good quotes. Verbal Judo: The Gentle Art of Persuasion by George J. Thompson and Jerry B. Jenkins is an outstanding little book that everyone should read. Why do I say everyone? Because everyone communicates with others, and this book will help you become a more effective communicator. It really is that good. The advice is simple, but profound and will enable the person w Very interesting self-help/personal growth book. Difficult to put into practice without some persistence and re-reading. A few good quotes. Verbal Judo: The Gentle Art of Persuasion by George J. Thompson and Jerry B. Jenkins is an outstanding little book that everyone should read. Why do I say everyone? Because everyone communicates with others, and this book will help you become a more effective communicator. It really is that good. The advice is simple, but profound and will enable the person who puts it to practice to listen better and be heard, learn what not to say, engage people through empathy, stop verbal attacks in their tracks, and much more. In fact, there is more practical advice in this one book than in some of my communication classes in college that I paid much more for. The book is 222 pages long, and is divided into 27 short chapters. Its size is due to the fact that Thompson does not spend any time theorizing or describing complicated communication models, but rather provides simple direct methods for communicating with people, with concrete examples that can be adapted and used by anyone. The lessons in this book have been honed on the streets by police officers, which Thompson is one, as they deal with some of the most unruly public. Thompson believes if the officers involved with the Rodney King incident had taken his course before that unfortunate event, things would have gone much differently. I believe he’s right. (The officers were actually scheduled to take Thompson’s Verbal Judo class shortly after the incident, if only it had been scheduled earlier.) In a nutshell, Thompson teaches you to treat people with dignity and respect. He teaches how to develop and maintain relationships rather than break them down and destroy them. The book shows you how to communicate with other effectively. This not only helps reduce conflict, but allows you to be influential with others, gain more from people, have better relationships, and generally be happier with all of your interactions with others. I read this book a long time ago, and just recently read it again for a refresher. I’ll admit, sometimes I fall short of practicing what Thompson teaches, and it does make me feel a bit better to know that Thompson says he’s fallen short many times too. I do, however, try to use these techniques and strategies in my dealings with people, and this book has influenced my mediation style as well as the teaching and training I do on mediation and effective communication. This book will help you, regardless your occupation, sex, age, or whatever. If you communicate with others, read this book to do it better. Alain Burrese, Apr. 3, 2011 http://burrese.com/review-communicati...

  24. 4 out of 5

    stormin

    This book was an interesting blend of self-help and informal research. George Thompson is an interesting guy. He was a high school English teacher, than a college professor, and then a beat cop. Obviously, going from English professor to cop is not your typical career move, and the entire book has that kind of unexpected juxtaposition of (for example) jumping back and forth between Greek philosophy and responding to domestic abuse calls. The main idea of the book was empathy: "Effective communica This book was an interesting blend of self-help and informal research. George Thompson is an interesting guy. He was a high school English teacher, than a college professor, and then a beat cop. Obviously, going from English professor to cop is not your typical career move, and the entire book has that kind of unexpected juxtaposition of (for example) jumping back and forth between Greek philosophy and responding to domestic abuse calls. The main idea of the book was empathy: "Effective communication begins and ends with your ability to see yourself as you are seen." More than anything else, I was impressed that Thompson managed to go out and sell that message to cops, who are not the audience I expect to be super open minded about empathy. There were other interesting ideas, too, like "tactical civility", which basically means using civility as a means to accomplish what you need without letting your ego get in the way. (Putting your own ego in check was another big theme of the book.) Another one was: "Never react to what people say. React to what they mean." This comes from one of Thompson's "undeniable, inarguable street survival truths," which is that "People under the influence of liquor, drugs, rage, fear, anxiety, ignorance, stupidity or bias don't mean anything they say. If you begin to grasp this point, you can become a more effective communicator." Of course, this is easier said than done. I'm not sure how much help this book is really going to be to me because I already think that empathy is hugely important in communicating, but I definitely appreciated the attempt to pull together common themes from different realms--like dealing with crack addicts on the street to dealing with stubborn teenage children in your home (maybe not so different after all?)--and the book was an interesting read with some good reminders of things that I need to keep working on.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I enjoyed Verbal Judo. Although, I think many people want it to be a guide to the most effective communication I see it as an emergency checklist. It gives excellent ways to recover a situation that is moving in the direction of, or has already gone, bad. It provides tools to help when the moment is already there and you may not have had time to think. It's an emergency mitigation plan for your tongue. What I can also appreciate is that there are solid principles of communication and persuasion t I enjoyed Verbal Judo. Although, I think many people want it to be a guide to the most effective communication I see it as an emergency checklist. It gives excellent ways to recover a situation that is moving in the direction of, or has already gone, bad. It provides tools to help when the moment is already there and you may not have had time to think. It's an emergency mitigation plan for your tongue. What I can also appreciate is that there are solid principles of communication and persuasion that are laid out in a way which allows them to be transferred from the mitigation perspective (the tone I think the book was written in) to the creation/foundation of communication that improves relationships (the tool more commonly sought after). If you are aren't in the market for communication battle drills, this book may not be for you. However, if you are looking to build mental muscle memory to smooth out sticky communication situations I'd definitely recommend it.

  26. 5 out of 5

    John

    I listened to the audio version of this book. Note to self (and you), don't listen to self help books on audible, because I will want to highlight the book and write in the margins. So, I bought a paperback copy to reread. The start of the book is slow, lots of great stories about why you need to change your verbal ways. Later, the book gets into practicalities and ideas to try. This is a great book to help me with my students, and I will try to get a professional development session for the sta I listened to the audio version of this book. Note to self (and you), don't listen to self help books on audible, because I will want to highlight the book and write in the margins. So, I bought a paperback copy to reread. The start of the book is slow, lots of great stories about why you need to change your verbal ways. Later, the book gets into practicalities and ideas to try. This is a great book to help me with my students, and I will try to get a professional development session for the staff at my school centered on this material. It might also help me with family and friends.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jeshua Newman

    This is a quick read - relatively easy to grasp, uses a lot of acronyms, details concrete concepts, and overall communicates the message with anecdotes instead of complicated data. These are all very practical concepts you can start applying right now! I recommend this book to anyone who works with people, especially to people who carry a gun to work.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jon Mellberg

    Delicious insight into communication techniques. Written by a cop for cops, but EVERYONE can benefit for these lessons. Chocked full of colorful anecdotes, this book is an easy (6hrs on Audible) and thoroughly enjoyable read. It, like "How to Win Friends and Influence People", taps the Golden Rule and teases it out, giving plenty of great examples along the way. Delicious insight into communication techniques. Written by a cop for cops, but EVERYONE can benefit for these lessons. Chocked full of colorful anecdotes, this book is an easy (6hrs on Audible) and thoroughly enjoyable read. It, like "How to Win Friends and Influence People", taps the Golden Rule and teases it out, giving plenty of great examples along the way.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    This is a great tool for everyone! If you interact with others you will benefit from reading this book. I enjoyed listening to the audiobook, however, I plan to purchase a paperback copy to add to my reference collection, as I think it will be helpful to refer back to particular sections.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Hitessh Panchal

    Some good tips on Respoding and not reacting. Else most of the things he said are taught by our parents, Only which, we forget with time.

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