Verbal Judo - Deepstash
Verbal Judo

Verbal Judo

George J. Thompson, PhD

69

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Empathy diffuses tension

When dealing with angry people, expressing empathy and understanding towards them can calm them down as they are able to find someone who gets what they are saying.

Express empathy by showing you care about how they feel - try to be helpful if there is something you can do.

Understanding can be shown through discussing how frustrating their experience must be and how much it must annoy them.

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Use L.E.A.P.S. to communicate with angry people

Listen - listen to what they have to say and show that you are actively listening.

Empathise - show that you care by declaring your understanding of their feelings.

Ask - ask open ended questions to both find out information and allow people to vent, rather than just saying yes/no.

Paraphrase - accurately repeat what they are saying to show you're listening and to better understand - "so what your saying is x y z, is that correct?"

Summarise - reduce the emotion by calming the situation

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NEVER generalise in arguments

Generalising is making statements in which you generalise behaviour, for example "you never wash up" or "you are always on your phone".

These are poor to use as it is an exaggeration, and the person hearing that will hear those statements and disagree with and attack the frequency, rather than what you want to discuss.

For example a response might be: "I do wash up, I washed up yesterday morning" - this is about the frequency, rather than what you wanted to achieve by saying that.

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You can be completely right but they won‘t agree

We can be wrong when we believe we are right as people can be right in different ways. Think about misinterpreted communication between person A saying something to person B.

B might not hear A say something and so could say B ignored them, while B says A said nothing to them. Technically they are both right. Neither will change their opinion.

By understanding that your unbeatable logic might be wrong in their eyes, you can prevent situations caused from a difference in perception.

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Give praise at the end of a sentence

Rather than giving praise at the start, say it at the end. Usually when people hear praise they expect something negative to come after it, which can devalue the praise as it can be seen as fake: a tool just to deliver something negative.

Be specific with what you're praising and give it at the end so it appears more genuine and less incencere.

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