Verbal Judo: The Gentle Art of Persuasion (Overview)

A young man reads a book in a cozy library or bookshop with tall bookshelves and a bright window

What if you applied martial arts principles to communication? What difference could it make in your ability to make your message heard? George Thompson argues that Verbal Judo is the most effective way to resolve conflicts and respond to confrontations. He explains each of his method’s principles and how to apply them, even under pressure. Continue reading for an overview of Verbal Judo: The Gentle Art of Persuasion by George Thompson.

Verbal Judo for Law Enforcement: Using Words, Not Force

A police officer talks calmly and compassionately with a troubled man, illustrating Verbal Judo for law enforcement

How is Verbal Judo applied to law enforcement? What happens when police officers practice empathy? Law enforcement trainer and English professor George Thompson wrote Verbal Judo to explain how to handle any tense situation calmly. He argues that, in a high-pressure situation, it’s most effective to act as if you’re practicing judo. Keep reading to learn about Verbal Judo for law enforcement.

The Importance of Empathy in Communication (+ Tips)

Two men talking pleasantly in a cafe illustrate the importance of empathy in communication

What difference does empathy make in communication? How can it help you de-escalate tense moments? According to law enforcement trainer and English professor George Thompson, empathy is a powerful tool when you need to introduce calm into a high-stress situation. He presents empathy as a fundamental tool in the Verbal Judo toolbox. Continue reading to learn about the importance of empathy in communication and how to use it to read people.

What Is Mushin? Cultivating Calm in the Middle of the Storm

A calm man with his eyes closed sits in a chair, practicing mushin in the middle of chaos

What is mushin? Is it the same as mindfulness? How can it help you remain calm and even de-escalate a high-stress situation? A core skill in Verbal Judo is cultivating a mindset called mushin (wushin in Chinese), which practitioners of many Japanese and Chinese martial arts aim to achieve. In his book Verbal Judo, George Thompson explains mushin and how you can cultivate it and use it to great advantage. Read more to learn what mushin is and how to apply it.

How to Let Go of Your Ego and Break Through to Solutions

Smiling man and woman talking, illustrating how to let go of your ego and communicate effectively with each other

Are your feelings easily hurt? Are you more focused on protecting yourself than solving bigger problems? When people come at us, it’s easy to react in ways that end up making the confrontation worse. Our ego is often to blame. Law enforcement trainer and English professor George Thompson says that Verbal Judo offers a way out of this mindset. Continue reading to learn how to let go of your ego and move forward in a positive direction.

How to Improve Active Listening: 3 Tips From Verbal Judo

A white-haired bearded man sitting in a restaurant and listening to someone talk illustrates how to improve active listening

Do you listen more than you talk? What’s your primary goal when you communicate? What can you learn about listening from an octopus? It probably comes as no surprise that listening well is important. Active listening is a specific skill that’s invaluable in all aspects of life, and it’s part of the practice of Verbal Judo—a set of techniques that help you handle any tense situation calmly.  Read more for George Thompson’s threefold advice on how to improve active listening and communicate more effectively as a result.

How to Analyze a Situation: 4 Tips to Navigate a Tense Moment

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How can you keep your judgment from getting clouded during a high-stress situation? What must you understand before you can resolve the issue? George Thompson developed Verbal Judo to help people handle tense situations at work, home, and elsewhere. Not only do you need to understand the personalities involved, you must fully and accurately ascertain the scenario you’re dealing with. Keep reading to learn how to analyze a situation using Verbal Judo principles and techniques.

How to Read Other People & Get Them to Cooperate

A man who knows how to read other people is having a serious conversation with another man in an office

How well do you recognize other people’s personality types, motives, and intentions? If you were armed with that knowledge, what difference would it make? A judo practitioner responds to a physical attack with an awareness of their opponent’s intentions. In the same way, you can respond to a verbal confrontation by reading the other person and figuring out who they are and what they need from the encounter. Read on for practical advice on how to read other people, according to Verbal Judo by George Thompson.

5 Verbal De-Escalation Strategies From George Thompson

A man practices verbal de-escalation strategies in a workspace with two employees who are upset with each other

How do you get out of a tense situation? What are some ways to resolve issues rather than make them worse? Law enforcement trainer George Thompson argues that, in a high-pressure situation, it’s most effective to act as if you’re practicing judo. In other words, use the other person’s energy to gently move them in the direction you want them to go. Keep reading to learn Thompson’s verbal de-escalation strategies to handle conflicts in your day-to-day life.

How to Stop Being Condescending: 5 Steps to Polite Persuasion

A woman pointing at another woman when she's talking to her illustrates how to stop being condescending in communication

Do people respond negatively when you ask them to do something? Could it be because you’ve made them feel like you’re looking down on them? Perhaps you’re a parent trying to get your teenager to respect curfew, or you’re a manager pressing your employees to meet a deadline. George Thompson offers some tips on how to get people to cooperate without making them feel small. Keep reading for Thompson’s advice on how to stop being condescending when you’re communicating with others.