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Tongue Fu!: How to Deflect, Disarm, and Defuse Any Verbal Conflict Paperback – March 15, 1997
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From Library Journal
David R. Johnson, Fayetteville P.L., Ark.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“This is a great book! Tongue Fu! puts a new twist on communiction. Everyone should read it.!” ―John Gray, author of Men Are from Mars, Women are from Venus
“Tongue Fu! is a practical and easy-to-read book on the important topic of interpersonal relationships. Many stories beautifully illustrate the immediate, usable ideas on how to get along better with just about anyone, anytime, anywhere. The world would be a more peaceful and harmonious place if people practiced the enduring principles presented in this book. Tongue Fu! is destined to be a classic.” ―Jack Canfield, coauthor of Chicken Soup for the Soul
“Tongue Fu! is filled with delightful tools for keeping both feet on the ground instead of in the mouth. Both young and old need to learn its lessons for creating connection instead of alienation.” ―Susan Jeffers, Ph.D., author of Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway and End the Struggle and Dance with Life
“This book is a gold mine for anyone who deals with the public. The great strength lies in two things. First are Horn's unimpeachable ideas. She's added to the legacy of ideas on dealing with people left by Abraham Lincoln, Benjamin Franklin, Dale Carngie, and many others. That takes skill. Second are the examples she uses. This a comprehensive manual for getting ahead--while inviting others to join you.” ―Executive Book Summaries
“In this delightful book, I found many gems of practical wisdom for everyday life. Among books on effective communication and improved relationships, this is one of the finest ever seen. An important work--fun to read, learn from, and apply.” ―Dan Millman, author of Way of the Peaceful Warrior and The Laws of Spirit
“Frustrated? Try some verbal kung fu. These verbal techniques for 'fast-forwarding through frustration' help keep inner harmony.” ―the Chicago Tribune
“This is a terrific book, full of verbal 're-engineering' designed to refocus us toward greater fulfillment in our dialogues with others through better communication.” ―Anthony Robbins, author of Awaken the Giant Within and Unlimited Power
More About the Author
Her most recent book, Got Your Attention, published by Berrett-Koehler in 2015, was #1 in three categories on Amazon (Sales & Marketing, Business Management and Skills). Got Your Attention introduces Sam's "secret sauce" for creating mutually intriguing conversations so you can turn frustrating, waste-of-time, one-way interactions into productive, mutually-rewarding, two-way connections that get results.
Top Customer Reviews
Lots of case histories and lots of examples so you will know what you are doing., action plans to help you start putting the information into action, the book has it all.
Another book that augments this title would be "The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense", a slightly more dated book but one that deals with many of the items in greater detail. Together they are a complete set of how to deal with verbally aggressive people.
Recently at work, I felt I could have handled a situation better than I did. I knew what I wanted to convey, but it came out unsatisfactorly. Being someone who wants to improve themself, I thought I'd get a book relating to this subject matter.
The techniques presented in this book are inapplicable and irrelevant - they don't provide insight, and in my opinion are rediculous - the point where I found myself laughing. Reading this book felt like you were being lectured by your clueless, happy-go-lucky aunt.
Techniques such as "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em", "handle hassles with fun", and saying "you're right" (and meaning it) when people complain, are not realistic techniques to addressing real problem. The one which put me over the edge is her bit "choose to be compassionate" when people fail to meet their most basic responsibilities. According to this technique, if you are in a line at some place of business, and there are 25 people in front of you and one employee, you are supposed to spend the time in line convincing yourself that "it's okay - they are just understaffed". Or, if that employee messes up your order, say an ice cream cone, you are supposed to do the following:
1. "Ask them for their name" - Everyone knows doing this will immediately put the employee on the defensive.
2. "State your Customer Rights and Wishes" - This is going to anger the employee with such a belittling remark.
3. "Ask to see a supervisor" - Oh, really? Gee, I'm glad I'm paying money for such earth shattering advice.
And so on...Read more ›
The final chapter ties a nice bow around all the techniques by encouraging the reader to develop an action plan to turn "intentions into actions."
An easy read rich with appropriate quotations.
And, "Tongue Fu!" is a book that guides you to put compassion before reaction.
It's a very no nonsense book about standing on your own feet without stepping on anyone's toes. And, it is mainly targetting communication at work, although, if you master what this book has to teach you about disarming angry people, you can certainly apply this outside of your work environment.
There are 4 parts to this book:
1. Respond, Rather Than React:
When you think back on the outcome of times when you blurted your reactions,
before taking time to gather your thoughts, you will agree with Sam Horn that
this always makes things worse.
Ms. Horn's suggestion is, "Have compassion for this person, by asking yourself
how you would feel, if you had the same circumstances as she or he has."
Done skillfully, and with prior practice, can make a big difference in your
My favorite quote in this section of this book, is, "Speak when you're angry -
and you'll make the best speech you'll ever regret," Henry Ward Beecher.
2. Words to Lose, Words to Use:
In this section, Ms. Horn suggests, and I strongly agree that we need to
replace "but" with "and."
When you've made a statement, especially a compassionate statement, and you
follow it with what you want your attacker to understand, by using "but," you
cancel out all the good you've just shared.
Another example of words to lose, and words to use is, replace "You have to
work with Bob on this project," with "Could you please coordinate with Bob on
This is an example of knowing how to play corporate politics, in a good way.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's ok. This book contains information that just seems to be common sense.Published 2 months ago by Michael D. Old Turtle
Really excellent advise about how to deflect conflict and connect across difference. Really got a lot out of it!Published 3 months ago by DTanbaalu
This book has been so helpful to me and a couple of my friends with deflecting and defusing others we have had conflict with, including bullying. I highly recommend this book.Published 3 months ago by C. Teel
Hired Sam for a convention in Hawaii over 10 years ago, and to this day still remember how wonderful a presenter she was and still find the info in her wonderful book Tongue Fu to... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Dan Mask
This is a must read for anyone that deals with people. How our words can hurt or heal. Great read and great tools!Published 7 months ago by Denise Van Vliet