Verbal Judo

  • ISBN13:


  • ISBN10:


  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-03-15
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publications
  • Purchase Benefits
  • Free Shipping On Orders Over $35!
    Your order must be $35 or more to qualify for free economy shipping. Bulk sales, PO's, Marketplace items, eBooks and apparel do not qualify for this offer.
  • Get Rewarded for Ordering Your Textbooks! Enroll Now
List Price: $14.99


Improve communication, resolve conflicts, and avoid the most common conversational disasters through simple, easily remembered strategies that deflect and redirect negative behavior.

What mastering verbal judo takes is for you to be fully in the moment, conscious of who you are, and not only conscious of what you are experiencing, in the presence of your interlocutor, but also willing to use your interlocutor's energy to redirect what they expressed to you from something destructive to something mutually empowering.

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.

Table of Contents

A Decade Laterp. 9
Introduction: Communication as a Noncontact Sportp. 11
Birth of a Communication Samuraip. 15
Motivating the Disagreeablep. 21
Baptism of Firep. 25
Taking Crap with Dignity ... and Stylep. 31
The Nice, the Difficult, and the Wimpp. 39
Eleven Things Never to Say to Anyone (And How to Respond If Some Idiot Says Them to You)p. 47
The Crucible of the Streetp. 55
The Most Powerful Word in the English Languagep. 63
The Greatest Speech You'll Ever Live to Regretp. 71
The Only Way to Interrupt People and Still Have Them Love Youp. 79
Verbal Judo Versus Verbal Karatep. 87
The Five-Step Hard Stylep. 95
The First Great Communication Art: Representationp. 103
The Second Great Communication Art: Translationp. 111
The Third Great Communication Art: Mediationp. 121
What Makes This All So Difficultp. 127
Readin', 'Ritin', and Rhetoricp. 135
How to Diagnose a Verbal Encounterp. 147
The Language of Reassurancep. 153
How to Fight Fairp. 161
Take the Giant LEAPSp. 167
Applying LEAPS to Your Worldp. 175
Persuasion for Fun and Profitp. 179
The Misunderstood Motivatorp. 185
You Can Punish Without Drawing Bloodp. 195
Dancing When You Might Have Stumbledp. 199
Verbal Judo as an Automatic Responsep. 211
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.


Verbal Judo
The Gentle Art of Persuasion

Chapter One

Birth of the Communication Samurai

It was the most outrageous way to bust up a fight I had ever seen. I'd been a rookie cop ten days when my partner got the call. At two A.m. we were dispatched to break up a nasty domestic dispute in a tenement on the east side of Emporia, Kansas, notorious for drug dealing and random violence.

We could hear the couple's vicious, mouth-to-mouth combat from the street. My training sergeant and partner, Bruce Fair, and I approached and peeked through the halfopen door. Then Bruce just walked in without bothering to knock. I watched as he strode right past the warring couple, took off his uniform cap, sighed, and planted himself on the couch. Ignoring the argument, he picked up a newspaper and thumbed through the classifieds!

Leaning against the door with my hand on the butt of my .357, I was flabbergasted. Bruce seemed to violate all the rules of police procedure. I had never seen him enter a house without identifying himself, without asking permission, or without at least saying why he was there. There he was, treating an angry couple in a tenement apartment as if he were a visiting uncle.

Bruce kept reading and the couple kept arguing, occasionally glancing at the cop on their couch. They had yet to notice me. As the man cursed his wife, Bruce rattled the newspaper. "Folks. Folks! Excuse me! Over here!"

The stunned husband flashed a double take. "What are you doing here?"

Bruce said, "You got a phone? Look here. A 1950 Dodge! Cherry condition! Can I borrow your phone? I know it's late, but I don't want to miss out on this. Where's your phone? I need to call right now!"

The husband pointed to the phone, incredulous. Bruce rose and dialed, then mumbled into the phone. He slammed it down. "Can you believe they wouldn't talk to me just because it's two in the morning?"

By now the fight had evaporated, the couple standing there as dumbfounded as I was. "By the way," Bruce, said pleasantly, as if just becoming aware, "is anything the matter here? Anything my partner and I can do for you?"

The husband and wife looked at the floor and shook their heads. "Not really, no." We chatted with them a bit, reminding them that it was late and that everyone around would appreciate a little peace and quiet. Soon we were on our way.

Then I was really puzzled. Earlier that night we had broken up a similar dispute in the classic cop fashion. We quickly took control with polite authority, performed what's known as a "separate and suture" (where the warring parties are separated, calmed, and then brought back together), and diffused the situation. That was the way I had been trained, so what was this new twist?

I mean, as a former college English professor who had taught Milton and Shakespeare for ten years, I'd seen some ingenious twists of plot. But a cop taming two animals by intruding as a rude but friendly guest? Bruce had forced those people to play host to him whether or not they wanted to.

As soon as we were back in the squad car I asked him, "What in the world was that all about? Why did we separate and suture earlier and pull this crazy newspaper -- and telephone gag just now?"

He shrugged. "I don't know. I've been on the street more'n ten years. You just learn."

"Hey, I may be new at this," I said, "but I'm no kid. [I was thirty-five.] I haven't got ten years. I could get blown away if I tried that stunt. We need to talk. Tell me how you knew you could get away with that."

I didn't realize it then, but that evening marked the birth of Verbal judo and was the first lesson in my career as a communication samurai. I had studied the martial arts, starting with genuine Indian wrestling, since I was six and held black belts in judo and tae kwon do karate, but I had never seen such principles so effectively applied to life on the streets.

I It was one thing to practice the martial arts in a storefront dojo with polite, honorable opponents bowing and working together, competing and learning. (In judo I had learned the gentle art of redirecting my opponent's energy to achieve my own goal. If he came straight at me, I would sidestep and try a move that would add to his momentum, carrying him past me where I could take control.) But I had watched Bruce Fair do virtually the same thing without an ounce of physical force. With his mouth, a newspaper, and a telephone, he had calmed two hotheads with redirective techniques he had absorbed through experience.

I was intrigued. During the remainder of my tenure as a police officer-working everything from canine patrol to hostage negotiations -- I carefully, watched and listened to guys like Bruce. I began systematically studying the communication techniques of salty old police dogs, carrying a tape recorder with me on every call. I listened not only to what, was said, but also to how it was said. Time after time I saw older, street-savvy officers assume roles and counterroles, suavely manipulating people's energies to calm otherwise dangerous situations.

I quickly became convinced that good police officers are the greatest communicators in the world. They often have to issue orders and elicit compliance from hostile subjects, aswhen they're derailing a drug deal and the gang members are reaching for their AK-47s. Despite my classical education,which had exposed me to t , he finest rhetoricians of the ages,I realized that my real postdoctoral work hadn't been done at Princeton. It was unfolding for me right on the streets of Emporia.

Verbal Judo
The Gentle Art of Persuasion
. Copyright © by George Thompson. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Excerpted from Verbal Judo: The Gentle Art of Persuasion by George Thompson, Jerry B. Jenkins
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Rewards Program

Customer Reviews

Absolutely invaluable book April 18, 2011
This textbook is great; filled with useful techniques in dealing with all sorts of people. The subject matter is presented in a straightforward, memorable layout. Thompson has given the reader some common sense tips. These tips were always there but reading them was like uncovering a treasure chest on a deserted island. I recommend this invaluable and cheap textbook for the Patrol Officers who communicate with the public.
Flag Review
Please provide a brief explanation for why you are flagging this review:
Your submission has been received. We will inspect this review as soon as possible. Thank you for your input!
Verbal Judo: 5 out of 5 stars based on 1 user reviews.

Write a Review