As a certified Peer Support Specialist, by the State of Arizona to deal with psychiatric patients in need, I am keenly aware that fostering “mutuality and respect” in relationships with others is a key concept and determinate of how effective I’ll be in my job in the field of mental health.
One of the books that has helped me the most in all this was written by a man who dedicated most of his adult life to helping others and saving lives. His name is Dr. George J. Thompson, PH.D. and he is the co- author of a book called: “Verbal Judo – the Gentle Art of Persuasion.”
In his most updated edition, with new forward, his co-author, a man named “Jerry B. Jenkins – who helped write the bestselling “Left Behind” series talks about the importance of Verbal Judo in the introduction of the book.
What he says is truly profound, especially from the perspective of a peer support specialist:
“What differentiates Verbal Judo from other books on communication is that it offers solutions that work when people are under pressure. It provides techniques that have been tested on the street by men and women responding to life or death situations.
Verbal Judo will teach you to respond – not react – to situations. Using what George Thompson calls “the most dangerous weapon on the street today: the cocked tongue.” You will learn to adapt and be flexible, just as practitioners of physical judo do. You will learn to use your words to redirect the negative force of others toward positive outcomes…
In verbal judo you’ll learn to speak with anyone without causing or escalating conflict. You’ll learn to praise without sounding manipulative. And you’ll learn to constructively criticize with more empathy so people remember what was said with less injury to pride and their feelings, become motivated to change, and continue to feel like valued team members. Verbal Judo also has solutions for dealing with people under the influence of liquor, drugs, fear, rage or plain stupidity.
With George Thompson’s tactics for mind-mouth harmony, you will learn for more than how to throw words around to live more safely in a treacherous world. You will learn a new habit of mind, a gentle approach to being in control of situations without creating stress, without frustration, and without continued conflict.”
Verbal Judo, “Introduction, Communication as a Non Contact Sport” pg 2-3.
See related report: The art and science of Verbal Judo http://groundreport.com/the-art-and-science-of-verbal-judo/
For more information on verbal judo by calling 1-800-448-1042. See also http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7GLtgzOjaU
You might also want to watch a video called: “Verbal Judo: Diffusing Conflict Through Conversation” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btBw70HAys4&feature=related