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Publisher's Summary

When you react, the event controls you. When you respond, you're in control.

Verbal Judo is the classic guide to the martial art of the mind and mouth that can help you defuse confrontations and generate cooperation, whether you're talking to a boss, a spouse, or even a teenager. For more than a generation, Dr. George J. Thompson's essential handbook has taught people how to communicate more confidently and persuasively in any situation. Verbal Judo shows you how to listen and speak more effectively, engage others through empathy (the most powerful word in the English language), avoid the most common conversational disasters, and use proven strategies to successfully express your point of view - and take the lead in most disputes.

This updated edition includes a new foreword and a chapter featuring Dr. Thompson's five universal truths of human interaction:

  • People feel the need to be respected
  • People would rather be asked than be told
  • People have a desire to know why
  • People prefer to have options over threats
  • People want to have second chances

Stop being frustrated and misunderstood. Stop finding yourself on the losing end of an argument. With Verbal Judo you'll be able to have your say - and say what you mean.

©2010 George J. Thompson (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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What listeners say about Verbal Judo, Updated Edition

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • P K
  • 2018-07-08

Useful, though with a tad too much self-promotion

So this book is far from bad. It contains valuable lessons, especially for anyone who has not grown up in a communicative, empathetic, compassionate family or social scene. But for those of us who have, it merely solidifies and articulates notions we've already come to integrate into our lives. Not that this is unhelpful, it's just not revelatory. However -- and this is a significant caveat -- for those who find they have difficulty in successfully communicating or engaging empathetically with others, I think this book could be extremely life-changing.

My major issue with the book was its continual insistence on self-promotion. We get it. You were a cop. You're a martial artist. You're a literature PhD. These techniques work. You've taught lots of people. If I'm listening to your book -- I'm convinced! Stop trying to convince me and get. to. the. point. Even when the reader thinks they've made it past the self-promotion and into the meat of his instructions, he'll occasionally veer back into self-aggrandizement. It gets very tiresome and made it impossible for me to finish Verbal Judo.

20 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Wow. I couldn't wait for this book to be over!

I see that this book/audiobook receives good reviews, so perhaps it's just me or the mood I'm in when listening to this book. However, I couldn't wait for this book to be over. The first 3rd of the book just seems to be the author talking about how great his method and story are. The rest of the book could be summarized in a magazine article called "here are 5 techniques you can use when communicating with difficult people". A lot of the material is superficial.

Really don't recommend this book - or the narrator.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Lots of filler

If you skip the first hour (1/6th) of the book it’s will save you a lot of time. If you want to save even more time just read the chapter titles.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dan
  • 2018-02-20

Excellent framework for communication

Read it before, great to refresh knowledge.
Great for working with the public, and dealing with all sorts of conflict.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Annoying

Why do you need to talk so much about how great the verbal judo is and say that word so many times? do you listen to your audiobook or read your own book once you are done? were you not annoyed by the number of times you mentioned the verbal judo? i couldn't finish the book. by chapter 2 I was done. I might jump through it hoping to catch some good stories but seriously can you edit this so that you don't talk about how great your book and your program is? let me say that about your book. why won't you give your audience who is spending precious time to read your words the chance to make up their own minds about your book. Aaarghhh!!!

2 people found this helpful

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Outdated material about empathy

This book may be very useful for law enforcement officers who may need one of theirs to discuss empathy with a specific police situation viewpoint. I thought the general jist of this book (= demonstrate empathy) to be positive but the specifics are a bit outdated and others propose better guides to understanding empathy. The reading of this book included moments of yelling to show emotion but the volume variations were so drastic that it was painful to hear.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Useful and Entertaining

Great use of personal storys. Lots of great ideas, explained well and in plain language but not dumbed down. Will have to listen again in the future. Entertaining to listen to and voice feels natural and fits the written voice.

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great advice but the introduction is horribly long

a lot of practical advice regarding conflict in social interaction . this book would be an 8.5/10 but the intro is so long for no reason that it is almost hard to believe. so because of this I'll rate it 7.5/10.

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Great read

This book and subject matter should be required reading for any person that plans to be in a frontline/essential service or a parent, spouse or sibling!

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    5 out of 5 stars

Good stories that put situations in context.

Lots of good excellent content, lots of material, it makes me want to buy the hard copy.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Kim Dushinski
  • 2017-05-24

Kept thinking it was already started

This book kept explaining why verbal judo is a good concept and how this book would guide readers through it. It did this over and over again. I would think, "haven't we already been doing that?" Also, most of the stories are about using verbal judo as a police officer, which is not really applicable in the work world. I wish there were more business scenarios.

250 people found this helpful

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  • Triple X
  • 2017-11-26

Despite the author's efforts, this is a cop book

I've heard a lot about verbal judo over my years working around law enforcement personnel. Time and time again, they would tell me how verbal judo applies to everyone, not just law enforcement, and that I should take a class or read the book. Since I believe in the power of communication, I finally gave the audio book a try.

Here is my takeaway - This is a book for law enforcement enforcement officers, plain and simple.

I don't blame the author for solely using police examples, that was his trade for many years after all. Where I do fault the author is the way he spends all of his time talking about police, and then haphazardly throws out a, "but this works for business too!" and then tries to sell it to the business world. Sorry, talking someone into dropping a knife has literally come up in the office.

The author boasts how he learned to use catchphrases where he'd say things like "preciate that" deliberately chopping up words to try to show empathy without making himself feel as though he's taking s*** from criminals. Clearly it worked well for the author as a cop on the street, but I find it to be passive aggressive and I don't believe it belongs in the boardroom.

While I believe in the overall message of this book (don't be an a-hole), if you're in business world looking for a communication book, I'd look elsewhere.

53 people found this helpful

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  • Victoria Jeppson
  • 2017-08-13

they took their own horn for the whole book!

I'm grateful I only spent $3 on this book. When you read it skip to chapter 4 is where the book starts and you don't have to hear the introduction of them saying how wonderful they think they are. The book itself drags on even if they're Point may have success to it, their pride and self-promotion overtakes any positive influences book may have. Don't buy it!

134 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • SmartBean
  • 2017-06-21

Starts slow, gets better

This book starts slow and initially seems more of an infomercial than anything. However, after the introduction and first few chapters are out of the way, it becomes interesting and very instructive. There are lots of probably useless acronyms and lists. Best to just understand and apply the principles. Some of the accents used in the quotes are a bit off putting.

66 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • AttackGirl
  • 2018-09-03

Repeat repeat repeat

The author never gets to actual examples only continually says over and over and over and over how he is a verbal judo expert a police officer with education and self defense training and a police officer who is trained in self defense and how he is a verbal judo expert who does training and he is an expert... now imagine that for 5+ hours over and over never getting to the actual training of how or what to say just who he is. Just terrible.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Ichiji
  • 2017-08-16

TMA--Too many acronyms

I generally dislike self help books, and this is a good reminder of why. The author spends too much time congratulating himself on becoming a self help guru and not enough time helping the listener to understand the techniques he is teaching. He should have more empathy! The acronyms are not memorable.

The accents used for the perps will bother some people.

63 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Troy Chevalier
  • 2017-06-10

Practical & Entertaining!

I was happy to see that Audible version was available. Dealing with difficult people has been one of my greatest life challenges. This book is full of simple practical techniques that I've been able to put into regular use, with noticeable positive results. Mr. Thompson teaches the material with a lot of entertaining life stories that illustrate Verbal Judo techniques in action. Well worth the purchase!

37 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Jaeson Han
  • 2017-09-09

Meh... wish I could get my credit back.

started well
ran out of steam quickly
filler stores were too similar

The narrator was irritating and used questionable accents that felt racist. There is no need to read a Bruce Lee quote in a offensive Chinese accent. Just read the freaking quote.

72 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • C.Young
  • 2017-04-07

Content great , narration distracting

The material was excellent. The Narrators use of mock voices went from distracting to uncomfortable

44 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • A
  • 2017-07-08

Cogent, Executable, Engaging

Great reading of a very helpful subject.Well worth multiple listens. Wish I had heard it years ago.

10 people found this helpful