Course teaches participants how to effectively deal with disputes

“Whether at home or in the office boardroom, Verbal Judo can show you how to be better prepared in every verbal encounter. (It) will teach you how to listen and speak more effectively; how to engage people through empathy; how to avoid the most common conversational disasters; and how to have a proven, easily remembered strategy that will allow you successfully to communicate your point of view and take the upper hand in most disputes.”

Verbal Judo: The Gentle Art of Persuasion
by George J. Thompson and Jerry B. Jenkins

In your day-to-day life, have you found yourself groping for the right words to handle an emotionally charged and difficult conversation? Do you have to deal with difficult or aggressive people in your workplace? Would you like to handle verbal conflicts with style, dignity and persuasion?

Then consider enrolling in the Verbal Judo for Contact Professionals course being offered through the Office of Campus Relations, York University Security Services. George Thompson (right), a former academic who became a police officer, used his professional background and martial arts training to develop verbal judo.  

Verbal judo is a blend of "West meets East" theories of persuasion and deflection that are combined to achieve the gentle art of persuasion. It is essential training for anyone who interacts with people. Verbal judo has been taught to professionals from all fields in Canada, including those who practise medicine, social workers, transportation workers, law enforcement, and military and education personnel. 

Initially, Thompson’s program focused on training police officers, who face some of the most dangerous and critical situations in society. Today, more than 200,000 police officers from 700 different departments in Canada and the United States have participated in verbal judo training. It has become required training for many police forces and security teams internationally.

Thompson has now created a training program titled Verbal Judo for Contact Professionals, which was first offered to York community members in June 2009. Verbal Judo for Contact Professionals develops skills that help you to ensure personal safety, diffuse potentially dangerous situations, reduce stress, decrease complaints, express thoughts effectively while under pressure and improve morale. 

Here is what York community members are saying about this special course:

"I think that it is imperative that all staff and faculty get this training as it will allow us to be more cohesive, recruit new students and keep the students who are continuing with York. I came away with many new skills and tools that empowered me to be the best representative that I can be."

"As a student interested in law enforcement, I was eager to improve my communication skills. Intially, I was just planning to read the book [by Thompson]. Fortunately,York University offered the course. The interactive and friendly approach made it memorable. It was a meaningful experience."

"I found it very informative and appreciated learning a systemic approach to conflict resolution. This is an essential skill that many people only learn, unfortunately, through trial and error. I have no doubt that this approach can increase the probability of mutually agreeable outcomes and help avoid counterproductive arguments."

"Very practical, the instructor related it to my everyday life."

Register to participate in an open course or call to arrange a group booking. All courses are free of charge. To sign up for verbal judo training, fill out the program booking form available here and e-mail the form to April Nietzschmann, campus relations officer, or call ext. 22255 for more information.