Verbal Judo Book Summary - Verbal Judo Book explained in key points
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Verbal Judo summary

George J. Thompson and Jerry B. Jenkins

The Gentle Art of Persuasion

4.3 (135 ratings)
19 mins

Brief summary

Verbal Judo by George J. Thompson and Jerry B. Jenkins is a guide for communication excellence. It teaches effective communication skills to build rapport, defuse tense situations, and gain cooperation in high-pressure dialogue.

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    Verbal Judo
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    Communicating effectively in difficult situations is an art form that can be studied and learned.

    Imagine you’re a rookie cop. It’s two in the morning, and you’ve just been sent to break up a domestic altercation in a rough neighborhood of Emporia, Kansas. Sounds a bit scary, right? Well, the author once found himself in exactly this situation. Luckily for him, his partner, Bruce Fair, was an experienced officer. He was also the man who gave the author his first lesson in Verbal Judo.

    This term refers to the art of communication, a process that actually has no fixed rules at all.

    For instance, consider how the author’s partner dealt with the screaming couple: he walked straight into their apartment, plopped himself down on their couch and began reading the newspaper. The couple looked at him a few times, but they kept right on arguing. Finally, officer Fair interrupted their dispute and asked if he could use their phone. The couple, thrown off by his request, complied, and their argument broke off.

    From there, officer Fair mumbled something into the phone and put it down, feigning displeasure at the fact that someone would refuse his call at 2 a.m. He then asked the couple what was wrong and reminded them that it was best to be quiet at this time of night. In the end, the conflict resolved amicably.

    This was the author’s first experience of the true power of communication.

    Observing police officers as they defuse tense situations is the perfect way to learn about communication. That being said, it requires close study. Even the author was initially puzzled. He wasn’t exactly sure what had happened that night in Kansas and, when he asked his partner why he’d done what he’d done, officer Fair simply replied that he’d followed his instincts.

    The author was hungry for more, and so he set out to uncover the structure behind those instincts. During the following years, he observed his fellow officers and took meticulous notes on their approach to communication. All this work resulted in the author’s guide to the art of Verbal Judo.

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    What is Verbal Judo about?

    Verbal Judo (1993) is your guide to effective communication, from a police officer’s perspective. These blinks explain why some common communication techniques could be holding you back and why others may be better suited to achieving your communication goals.

    Verbal Judo Review

    Verbal Judo (2010) is a thought-provoking book that teaches effective communication techniques to diffuse conflicts and build better relationships. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • With its practical strategies and techniques, it equips readers with the tools to handle difficult conversations and resolve conflicts peacefully.
    • Packed with real-life examples and insightful anecdotes, the book is engaging and relatable, providing valuable lessons on effective communication in various situations.
    • Its emphasis on empowering individuals through words makes it a captivating read, ensuring that readers won't find this book boring.

    Best quote from Verbal Judo

    I quickly became convinced that good police officers are the greatest communicators in the world.

    —George J. Thompson and Jerry B. Jenkins
    example alt text

    Who should read Verbal Judo?

    • Police officers, security guards and anyone who deals with disruptive people
    • Professional communicators and mediators
    • Couples struggling to communicate their feelings

    About the Author

    George J. Thompson created the Verbal Judo method and its eponymous institute. He taught English and mastered karate before becoming a police officer, a career move that helped him develop his communication method. He died in 2011.

    Jerry B. Jenkins is a best-selling author of fiction and nonfiction alike. Most notably, he co-authored the beloved Left Behind books, a series of religious novels.

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    Verbal Judo FAQs 

    What is the main message of Verbal Judo?

    The main message of Verbal Judo is effective communication and conflict resolution through tactical language.

    How long does it take to read Verbal Judo?

    The reading time for Verbal Judo varies depending on the reader's speed. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Verbal Judo a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Verbal Judo is a valuable read for anyone looking to improve their communication skills and handle difficult situations with ease.

    Who is the author of Verbal Judo?

    The authors of Verbal Judo are George J. Thompson and Jerry B. Jenkins.

    What to read after Verbal Judo?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Verbal Judo, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • What We Say Matters by Judith Hanson Lasater and Ike K. Lasater
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