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Verbal Judo: The Gentle Art of Persuasion
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Verbal Judo: The Gentle Art of Persuasion

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  716 ratings  ·  79 reviews
Improve communication, resolve conflicts, and avoid the most common conversational disasters through simple, easily remembered strategies that deflect and redirect negative behaviour.

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 (th
Paperback, Revised edition, 222 pages
Published 2004 by Harper (first published May 1983)
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I picked this book up at work one night while rotating through what seemed like endless constant observation of patients, one after the other, through the night. In my job working with psychiatric patients, words are important and can mean the difference between calming a volatile situation or blowing it up into something violent, unpredictable and dangerous. So I was intrigued by a number of articles I read in Psychiatric Times that all pointed to this book and the concepts it teaches in order ...more
Eduardo Santiago
This is material I need to recommend; I just can't recommend this book. At least not to my friends, not to the people I hang out with or care about. Read Nonviolent Communication instead. Please.

Verbal Judo is... disturbing. It's about communication, but the undertone is about lying and pretending to empathize in order to get people to do what you want:

"The other person will believe you're trying to understand. Whether you really are interested is irrelevant." (p.81)

Halfway through the book, I a
Sep 11, 2008 Jay rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who needs to get a point across
Recommended to Jay by: UCLA
Dr. Thompson has worked as an English teacher, a police officer and a consultant. Communication is a major key in his life. As a cop he had to figure out how to get people to comply with lawful directions without resorting to physically making them follow instructions. For example, "I stopped you for speeding sir. Please give me your driver's license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance."


Now what?

This book discusses things not to say, dead end arguments, talking yourself into a cor
After reading some reviews I really wanted to love this book. In fact, I immediatly marched out and purchased it as soon as I heard of it. As a professional working in the behavioral health field I was excited to get a text that utilized a practical rather than soley theoretical viewpoint. I found neither a practical "street smart" or empirically based material in this book. Perhaps 10 out of over 200 pages actually covers any real skills or techniques. The rest is bravado, some honest self refl ...more
Leslie Lewis
I guess I was expecting more. The whole book felt like a big promotion to take the guy's seminar. By page sixty, the author was still going on and on about how helpful the book was going to be without having given any helpful information. The actual helpful bits are scattered around and have to be gleaned while plowing through a lot of bragging and peacocking behavior. A lot of what the guy tells you is common sense. Maybe if you are a very angry male who has no idea why his wife wants to divorc ...more
Kind of a repetitive book, but definitely helpful in laying out strategies for dealing with difficult people -- I wish I'd read it earlier; it's already been useful in dealing with difficult library patrons.
This book was recommended by a former sheriff deputy who came to do some safety training for staff in the library system where i work. Then, one of my former supervisors also recommended it. Since I'm about to take over supervising a different branch (and knowing some things about that branch), I thought now is a good time to improve my communication skills. The author gives practical tips that will definitely serve me well...if only I can commit them to memory.

I now feel more confident in my a
Doug Haynes
I read this because it was recommended by a friend because it had some good points.

It does, however the good points could have been summed up in about 7 pages.
Miroku Nemeth
Another recommendation from a fellow scholar of violence and, more importantly, avoiding violence.
Virgilio Machado
Very interesting self-help/personal growth book. Difficult to put into practice without some persistence and re-reading. A few good quotes.

Verbal Judo: The Gentle Art of Persuasion by George J. Thompson and Jerry B. Jenkins is an outstanding little book that everyone should read. Why do I say everyone? Because everyone communicates with others, and this book will help you become a more effective communicator. It really is that good. The advice is simple, but profound and will enable the person w
I enjoyed Verbal Judo. Although, I think many people want it to be a guide to the most effective communication I see it as an emergency checklist. It gives excellent ways to recover a situation that is moving in the direction of, or has already gone, bad. It provides tools to help when the moment is already there and you may not have had time to think. It's an emergency mitigation plan for your tongue.

What I can also appreciate is that there are solid principles of communication and persuasion t
Ok so as much as what was in this book is true and much needed in this world I'm not sure it is even possible to be able to learn through someone else's telling you what to do. It's something you really have to learn for yourself. And Thompson seems to be spending more time convincing the reader that his methods work rather than how to put them into action. Anyway I'll try to take what I picked up from this book and apply it to the world around me.
The author was a former police officer and a PhD in English. At a high level, the concept is expressed in the title, if you know that judo is supposed to be about blending with your opponent's negative energy instead of responding to it head on. Many of the examples are given from the perspective of how a police officer should act when interacting with people on the street.

The message is to use empathy to manage a verbal encounter and try not to let your ego get the better of you. It's not a boo
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This was a life changing book for me. I always considered myself an excellent verbal communicator but I knew that there were people who did a better job at tactically persuasion. I relied heavily on my physical stature and sales training before using the techniques Dr. Thompson teaches.

This is a great book for anyone who isn't a total hermit. If you have to speak to anyone for any reason you will benefit from the wisdom and insight this book offers. It contains instructions that parents, teacher
Kori Beemish
Nov 14, 2014 Kori Beemish rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone looking to better their communication skills
This book was recommended to me to help with my communication and even though this book isn't everything I needed, it was a very good start. Some of the lessons might be a bit difficult to implement, but it does help to point out what you can do to better your communication skills almost immediately.
Not interested in reading about some former police officers' life resume. His "Art of Persuasion" may hold the attention of a young teenager if that teenager has never been in a fight, or played in any contact sport. I learned this art at the age of 10.
Zorro Lopez
Excellent book on how to deal with people! The author breaks down all people into three simple groups; the third group is the one to watchout for! This book is a must read for anyone in a leadership position.
Word Owl
This book is great for anyone who finds themselves saying things they regret or speaking impulsively. More
Dillon Christensen
I really did like reading this book and I learned a lot. I really enjoyed reading his police stories and how his Verbal Judo changed his life. I look forward to similar stories of my own (with fewer criminals).
The central theme of the book, empathy, is spot on. The problem with this book is that a disturbingly large portion of the text is just the author congratulating himself for having learned something on his own, or for how he teaches his method to others.

The book summarized in a few short points:

1) The key to knowing what to say to a person is to try to understand what they know, what they are thinking, and what they are saying

2) Everything goes more smoothly when the person you are communicating
Meh. They're about ten pages of actual content, the rest is just filler. Also, the author often comes across as a patronizing jerk.
Verbal Judo is an excellent read for anyone who wants to eliminate stress and conflict in his/her life. I recommend it.
Taylor Ellwood
Verbal Judo is an excellent book that presents techniques that anyone can use to help defuse tense situations with language. It also helps you understand how to be a better communicator with people in general. I like the stories and examples the authors use to demonstrate the technique, because it shows how it can work and what to do to make it work. The book is broken into small chapters which makes for easy reading, but I recommend taking your time and trying out the techniques. It is a little ...more
Beth Beutler
Excellent book with practical tips that can make a big difference in handling conversations, especially with conflict involved.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I just couldn't get into this book. I plugged through about 2/3 of it and just lost interest. Dale Carnegie's book How to Win Friends and Influence People was a quicker read and got to the point much quicker in my opinion.
A. McKay
The book taught so classic tricks of persuading the person you are talking to, to do what you want them to do. To me it pretty much read as make the person think they are winning even though they are doing what you want them to do.

Sections of the book seems to emphasize on his classes and his life instead of teaching you. I love the real examples but I skimmed through parts that were to me at least repeating what he just said. I still highly recomend this nover to security and Police personal.
Greg Linster
This book is about the art of persuasion. Appealing to reason works sometimes, but there aren't very many people out there who think they're being unreasonable, even when they're being unreasonable. This is where the art of persuasion and verbal judo come into play. The central idea behind the book is that the key to communicating with people is through empathetic speech. While I liked some of the ideas in the book, I thought it was repetitive and some of the stories were dull.
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Dr. Thompson ("Doc Rhino") is the Founder of the Verbal Judo Institute. Since 1983 and until he died in 2011, he personally trained more than 700,000 individuals in Tactical Communications -- a program he developed in 1983 for defusing conflict and redirecting behavior with words.

Doc had a B.A. from Colgate University (1963), a Masters and Doctorate in English from the University of Connecticut (1
More about George J. Thompson...
The Verbal Judo Way of Leadership: Empowering the Thin Blue Line from the Inside Up Verbal Judo: Redirecting Behavior With Words Hammett's Moral Vision: The Most Influential In-Depth Analysis of Dashiell Hammett's Novels Red Harvest, The Dain Curse, The Maltese Falcon, The Glass Key, and The Thin Man Verbal Judo : Words As a Force Option Verbal judo - om konsten att övertyga

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“YOU NEVER …” OR “YOU ALWAYS …” These absolute generalizations are lies. Is it true that a child never cleans up his room? (Okay, bad example. That may be true!) Is it true that your spouse is “always late”? Accusatory generalizations are rarely true and indicate that you have both lost perspective and will soon lose the attention of your listener.” 1 likes
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