Verbal Judo: The Gentle Art of Persuasion
by George J. Thompson & Jerry B. Jenkins
Published March, 2004Â Â 224 Pages
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.
I think this is one of the best books I’ve read in terms of using communication as the first tactic in diffusing conflict. Shortly after reading this book, I had the opportunity to “field test” the techniques in a real-world setting. I was working a detail and had to mediate a conflict between a (6’10” 300-pound) extremely angry man and the principal. The principal was, unfortunately, very confrontational, and was inciting the man’s rage. I found myself in the unique position of using the “Verbal Judo” methods to manage both individuals. I can say from personal experience that the information in this book helped me to resolve the conflict without needing backup from the police, and without harm coming to either individual.