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Verbal Judo: The Gentle Art of Persuasion Reprint Edition

269 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0060577650
ISBN-10: 0060577657
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

George J. Thompson, Ph.D., is a former English professor and a black bet master of karate. He created and crash-tested verbal judo when he was a police officer on an urban beat. He is now a popular lecturer and lives -in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Jerry B. Jenkins was most recently the co-author of Miracle Mon. The Nolan Ryan Story.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (March 2, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060577657
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060577650
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (269 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #180,961 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

George J. Thompson, Ph.D., is a former English professor and a black bet master of karate. He created and crash-tested verbal judo when he was a police officer on an urban beat. He is now a popular lecturer and lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

89 of 92 people found the following review helpful By Jay VINE VOICE on January 10, 2005
Format: Paperback
I first read this book about ten years ago. I then took a course by the same title at the police academy. Essentially, Dr. Thompson tries to take a few simple concepts and by simplifying them further, give police officers a way to de-escalate conflict. My first thought as a negotiator was that these concepts had been dumbed down too much, but I decided to give it a chance in the real world. For the most part, it works. Every time I used his techniques on a police scene, the situation was settled without force.

I believe that this book is a good starting point into the arena of active listening. The area that should be expanded on is the response... i.e. situational response based on more factors than a book can cover (personal experience, perception, urgency, etc...) vs. the patterned responses suggested in the book.

I recommend the book, but I would consider twice before taking the expensive follow-up seminars (unless of course - your department is paying for them :))
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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By T. Short on December 18, 2005
Format: Paperback
I am a Sgt. with A State Corrections Agency and have used the technique(before I even finished the book) in the steps so clearly stated: 1)Act,2)Set it in Context,3)Present Options,4)Confirm,5)Act(last resort force). Staff even were suprised how I diffused a few intense situations. You do have to work at it and I would suggest making a list of situations or conversations you have been in, then follow the book. Eventually I think it will become second nature. I attended a 2 hour free seminar, posed a question and received a 100% clear answer to the situation. After the session the book was much clearer. I have since read the book and ordering copies for some of my staff. A must read for any law enforcement. The way the information is organized in the book I rate about a 4, but content (The 5 steps) gets a 5. Overall rating is closest to a 5. You must apply the information. The book is one of my top 10 keepers.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Sun Tzu on December 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
I couldn't describe this book as a complete system of communication, but it definitely does have some useful things to say about dealing with difficult people.

It puts the subject in good perspective and gives the reader some tools to deal with the inevitable aggression that everyone has to deal with in day-to-day transactions.

What I like about this book is that gives guidelines so that the reader can create a convincing illusion of, or even a genuine episode of empathy with the person they are dealing with.

But what I really like is the author's emphasis on the fact that he doesn't really have to care about the difficult people he deals with, he just has to pretend he does.

In that way, we put on a suit of professionalism when we go to work and we leave our personal selves at home.

The professional self never loses their cool, never lets insults get to them and does what they need to do in order to successfully complete their daily transactions.

The verbal judo ideas are not exactly a scientifically-proven system. They are what the author has picked up from his and other police personnel's experience.

This minor point aside, this is a book worth reading by anyone who has to deal with difficult people and wants to know how to keep their cool and not feel they are giving in to the enemy.

If you are one of these people, I'd recommend you check it out.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Laura De Giorgio on February 6, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The author compares effective communication with martial arts, particularly judo, and illustrates his points through police stories, which makes the book both useful and interesting to read.

Throughout the book are interspersed quotes from Sun-tzu, like "To win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the highest skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the highest skill."

He distinguishes between 3 kinds of people: the nice, the difficult and the wimp. The nice people will do what you ask them the first time you ask them. They like to cooperate. Difficult people will not do what you tell them the first time you ask. It is their nature that makes them say "Why? What for?"

He adds that the 4 most popular questions Americans would ask are "Why?", "Who do you think you are to tell me what to do?", "Where do you get your authority?", and "What's in it for me?"

And wimps are the ones who sound like nice people, but are closet difficult people. To your face they say "Oh yes," "I agree," "You're right", but later they get you in the back. Wimps hate authority, but they don't have the guts to challenge you. They want revenge because they feel the need to even the score.

The first principle of physical judo is to not resist your opponent. Instead, move with him and redirect his energy - and the communication skills presented in the book follow the same pattern.

The author mentions 11 things never to say to anyone (some of these statements may be more applicable to policemen on duty): "Come here!", "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!", "What's your problem?" "You never ..." or "You always ...
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