Verbal Judo Book Summary

verbal-judo

Verbal Judo by George J. Thompson
The Gentle Art of Persuasion

My Thoughts

Contains both philosophical and tactical advice. Filled with stories and anecdotes from George’s law enforcement career. The explanation in chapter 5 of three types of people, nice, difficult and wimps, was eye opening and helped me in my relationships with several people.

My Favorite Quotes

  • The five universal truths of human interaction listed in introduction below.
  • See the person the way he sees himself.
  • The goal of education is to expand the mind. A person’s mind cannot be expanded unless he or she is motivated.
  • If your antagonist can upset you, he owns you at some level.
  • Empathy absorbs tension.
  • If you can’t empathize with people you don’t stand a chance of getting them to listen to you.
  • Repetition shows weakness, flexibility shows strength.
  • If you have trouble communicating with people it’s because you are thinking about yourself instead of about them.
  • The angry man will defeat himself in battle as well as in life.
  • Motivate by raising expectations, raise expectations through praise.

Key Questions

  • You are feeling X because of Y, is that correct?
  • Is there anything I can say or do at this time to earn your cooperation? I’d like to think there is.

Introduction

Empathy is the touchstone.
Treat people with dignity and respect.

Five universal truths of human interaction:

  1. All people want to be treated with dignity and respect.
  2. All people want to be asked, rather than told to do something.
  3. All people want to be informed as to why they are being asked or ordered 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.

Chapter 1: Birth of a Communication Samurai

Develop mind mouth harmony.

Goals of Verbal Judo:

  1. Ensure the reader’s personal safety.
  2. Enhance professionalism.
  3. Increase efficiency by improving your performance level.

Reduce your capacity for conflict and you will reduce stress.
Say it right the first time.

Chapter 2: Motivating the Disagreeable

See the person the way he sees himself.

Chapter 3: Baptism of Fire

The goal of education is to expand the mind. A person’s mind cannot be expanded unless he or she is motivated.
The underlying principle of motivation is to raise expectations.

Chapter 4: Taking Crap with Dignity and Style

It won’t seem natural at first. Truly enlightened communication doesn’t come naturally to anyone.
Never use words that rise readily to your lips.
If your antagonist can upset you, he owns you at some level.
Step 1: admit crap is being flung.
Step 2: acknowledge it is being flung at you.

Chapter 5: The Nice, the Difficult, and the Wimp

Three basic types of people in the world:

  1. Nice people
  2. Difficult people
  3. Wimps

Difficult people (people who ask why)
“What’s in it for me?”
When people ask why, jump into the question and use it as an opportunity.
Shift from resisting to welcoming and appreciating difficult people.

Wimps
The hardest group. They sound like nice people but are closer difficult people.
Agree to your face, compliment you, etc.
Bad mouth you behind your back, to your boss, co-workers, etc.
Does not have the guts to tell you to your face.
Most are good and ‘wimpdom’ and it makes them difficult to detect.
Do not like authority.
Hate being told what to do.
Want revenge. Feel the need to even the score.

Do not ignore wimps, that is just another form of resisting them. Ignored or resisted they grow stronger.
The basic principle is to confront them honestly, they immediately weaken. Resist the urge to snipe at them from a distance or gossip about them.
In a class or group setting don’t embarrass them, let them embarrass themselves.
Privately be direct and let them know you know what they are doing and won’t put up with it.

Learning to identify these three types is your first step in mastering verbal judo.

Chapter 6: 11 Things Never to Say to Anyone (and How to Respond if some Idiot Says them to You)

One: Come here!
Best answer: Why?

Two: You wouldn’t understand.
Best answer: Yes I would, try me, I want to help.

Three: Because those are the rules.
Best answer: Would you please tell me why this rule was created? It doesn’t make sense to me and if you could help me understand why it was made it would be much easier for me to follow.

Four: It’s none of your business.
Best answer: Gently but firmly point out, it is my business and here’s why.

Five: What do you want me to do about it?
Best answer: Start by explaining, I want you to listen to me and help me. Then politely explain exactly how the person can help.

Six: Calm down!
Best answer: Look, I am obviously not calm and there are reasons for it. Let’s talk about them.

Seven: What’s your problem?
Best answer: It’s not a problem, it’s just something I need to discuss. Can we talk?

Eight: “You never!” Or “You always.”
Best answer: I know it seems I never help out, because often I don’t, but let’s talk about it. Is that the real issue or are you upset about something else?

Nine: I am not going to say this again!
Best answer: Okay, I got it.

Ten: I am doing this for your own good.
Best answer: Ask for specifics. If it doesn’t match your notion of what is good for you, say so.

Eleven: Why don’t you be reasonable?
Best answer: I am being as reasonable as I know how, and with any luck I will get better. But apparently I see the issue differently than you do.

Chapter 7: The Crucible of the Street

The unconscious competent.

Chapter 8: The Most Powerful Word in the English Language

Empathy.
To see through the eyes of another.
Empathy absorbs tension.
If you can’t empathize with people you don’t stand a chance of getting them to listen to you.
Only after empathizing can you help them see the consequences of what they are doing or what they are about to do.

Chapter 9: The Greatest Speech You Will Live to Regret

Strip phrases (use them).
I ‘preciate that but…
I understan’ that but…
Ohyes…
Combine them.

Four reasons to employ strip phrases:

  1. They actually make you feel good.
  2. Serve as a springboard focus technique.
  3. If you can springboard past the insults and focus on the goal you have dis-empowered the other person.
  4. You sound good.

Two principles for dealing with difficult people:

  1. Let the person say what he wants as long as he does what you say.
  2. Always go for the win win.

Chapter 10: The Only Way to Interrupt People and Still have them Love You

Paraphrasing.
The sword of insertion: (use these to interrupt)
Whoa!
Wait a second.
Let me be sure I heard what you just said.

You are feeling X because of Y, is that correct?

List of 14 benefits of paraphrasing.

Chapter 11: Verbal Judo vs Verbal Karate

Gentle vs quick hard defensive strikes.
There is no apology for verbal abuse. You can never take words back.

Force options.
Your first force option is your presence, body language, facial expression, you’ve got to look the part.
Verbal is your second option.

If the first two do not work, try one of the next four force options.
Three: lay hands, come along holds from martial arts. Lowest level of pain.
Four: use of artificial incapacitators. Stun guns, mace, etc. temporarily immobilizing
Five: impact tools. Night stick or baton.
Six: deadly force.

Chapter 12: The Five Step Hard Style

Five steps for generating voluntary compliance:

  1. Ask. (Ethical appeal)
  2. Set context. (Reasonable appeal)
  3. Present options. (Personal appeal)
  4. Confirm. (Practical appeal)
  5. Act. (Determination of appropriate action)

“Is there anything I can say or do at this time to earn your cooperation? I’d like to think there is.”

Repetition shows weakness, flexibility shows strength.

Chapter 13: The First Great Communication Art: Representation

Make a list of your most harmful weaknesses, then name them.
#dothis

Samurai quote:
If you do not know yourself you lose 100% of the time.
If you know yourself, but you do not know the opponent, you will be lucky to win 50% of the time.
If you know yourself, and you know the opponent, you can win 100% of the time.

Chapter 14: The Second Great Communication Art: Translation

Four basic elements of communication:

  1. Content
  2. Coding
  3. Sending
  4. Decoding

If you have trouble communicating with people it’s because you are thinking about yourself instead of about them.

People rarely say what they mean.

Chapter 15: The Third Great Communication Art: Mediation

(no notes taken on chapter 15)

Chapter 16: What makes this all so Difficult?

Only 10-15% of your communication is received by what you say. The rest is based on facial expressions, tone, body language, etc.

Chapter 17: Readin’ Writin’ and Rhetoric

Acronym: PAVPO
Perspective
Audience
Voice
Purpose
Organization

Chapter 18: How to Diagnose a Verbal Encounter

PACE
Problem
Audience
Constraints
Ethical presence

Chapter 19: The Language of Reassurance

Underlying principles.
Empathy absorbs tension.

Chapter 20: How to Fight Fair

Paraphrase
Paraphrase again
Refocus the other’s attention
Say what you want to say

Chapter 21: Take the Giant LEAPS

Listen
Empathize
Ask
Paraphrase
Summarize

Five types of question:

  1. Fact finding.
  2. General (open ended).
  3. Opinion seeking.
  4. Direct. Yes or no.
  5. Leading. Almost always angers people.

Chapter 22: Applying LEAPS to Your World
(no notes taken on chapter 22)

Chapter 23: Persuasion for Fun and Profit

To know and to act are one in the same.
The angry man will defeat himself in battle as well as in life.

Chapter 24: The Misunderstood Motivator
Motivate by raising expectations, raise expectations through praise.

Chapter 25: You Can Punish without Drawing Blood
Chapter 26: Dancing when You Might Have Stumbled
Chapter 27: Verbal Judo as an Automatic Response
(no notes taken on chapters 25-27)

Chapter 28: Final Chapter: The Five Truths That Fit All

What is true of all cultures?

  1. All people want to be treated with dignity and respect.
  2. All people want to be asked, rather than told to do something.
  3. All people want to be informed as to why they are being asked or ordered 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.

My Action Steps After Reading

  • Being more aware when antagonists are trying to upset me and not let myself get upset.
  • Mental model of the three types of people: nice, difficult and wimps.
  • Work toward having more empathy to absorb tension, especially with challenging relationships.

Related Book Summaries

Hope you enjoyed this and got value from my notes.
This is the 26th book read in my 2018 reading list.
Here is a list of my book summaries.

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