SUMMARY TALKING POINTS OF THE FULL-DAY PROGRAM
FULL DAY COURSE OUTLINE
MODULE ONE:Professionalism and Course Goals
We never met people willing to come to work where they in turn will meet someone who will verbally abuse them or knock out their teeth during an encounter. We simply must address the fact that the world can be a dangerous place.
The very nature of dealing with people forces us to accept that some will be less than polite in their choice of words, tone of voice, or physical gestures and actions. People who lack the skills to calm and redirect the anger of others are in jeopardy. Even past the physical violence we know from our own experiences that verbal abuse is the most common form of abuse in America. We simply cannot say what we are feeling and thinking and be regarded as professionals by anyone watching, or nowadays, videotaping. Given the right conditions, we can all be difficult.
What we say is directly related to complaints received and litigious actions from our own ill-mannered behavior and words. Worry over physical safety, how to explain complaints, and how to defend our actions in court becomes very stressful. Activities outside our workplace cause additional stress that may follow us back into the work environment. People under stress pay less attention to safety, and the US Department of Labor agrees.
CONFLICTS AND STRESS COST U.S. WORKPLACES AN ESTIMATED $200 BILLION PER YEAR IN REDUCED PRODUCTIVITY, ACCIDENTS, COMPENSATION CLAIMS ABSENTEEISM, EMPLOYEE TURNOVER, HEALTH INSURANCE AND MEDICAL EXPENSES. THIS IS MORE THAN THE AFTER TAX PROFITS OF THE FORTUNE 500 COMPANIES AND 10 TIMES THE COST OF ALL STRIKES IN THE UNITED STATES COMBINED.
— Up to 90% of all visits to primary care physicians are for stress-related complaints.
— Up to 80% of industrial accidents are due to stress. ? Over 50% of lost workdays are stress-related.
— At last reference, 14% of workers say stress caused them to quit or change jobs in the past two years.
— Worker’s compensation awards for job stress will soon threaten to bankrupt the system in some states. Studies conducted on the above statistics came from: “Employee Burn Out: America’s Newest Epidemic”, by Northwestern National Life “Job Stress: The 20th Century Disease”, by the UN International Labor Organization. The “Mitchum Report on Stress in the 90’s”
The course then begins by addressing the most important goals of:
1. Increased Personal Safety
2. Enhanced Professionalism
3. Decreased Complaints
4. Decreased Vicarious Liability
5. Decreased Stress
MODULE TWO: The Art of Representation and Developing a “Habit of Mind”
We must, even under duress, never say the first thing that comes to our lips.
Allowing ourselves the privilege of saying what we are thinking during high emotional periods may cause us to “MAKE THE GREATEST SPEECH WE WILL EVER REGRET!
The Verbal Judo program enables participants to deflect verbal barbs by teaching people to pay closer attention to overall behavior than to the specific attitude of people. This will put us in a better position to Generate Voluntary Compliance than if the event drops to a “personal face” level. The professional attitude addressed in Module One is now carried into a model of behavior we call The Art of Representation. Caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place (the employing organizations with rules and laws on one side and the difficult person under some form of negative influence on the other side) people, much like coal, shine like diamonds or explode from the pressure.
External things they cannot control often influence people negatively, resulting in a “Box of Influence” that for a short while will govern their behavior. The influences of not just drugs or alcohol but anger, frustration, certainty or uncertainty, lack of money, inflated ego, feelings of self-importance, or peer pressure to name only a few can create monsters from otherwise decent people. Often, these people will play to an audience or family and friends to get what they want.
Through a tactic called mediation we remove the influences by thinking better for others than they might initially think for themselves. We must do this if we are to generate voluntary compliance and leave people better than we found them at their worst, the goal of any community/government philosophy.
MODULE THREE: The Three Truths of Communication
There is a relationship to what we say and how it is understood, or in some cases misunderstood. We are not attempting to teach communication as it would be taught in a collegiate setting, nor are we totally oversimplifying the work of others. Module Three is an overview the simple practice of communicating as a process and makes it understandable in less than one hour.
The first “Truth” is succinctly put that the actual opposite of talking is waiting, not listening, as most people currently and mistakenly believe. Actual listening is a highly interactive and energy charged process. The process is active and the Habit of Mind taught earlier is crucial if we are to gather what people actually meant from what they said. We discuss the four generally accepted steps in the listening process and discuss them with participants.
The second “Truth” deals with who we actually are, how we perceive ourselves and our own behavior, and lastly, how we are perceived by the other person(s) in conversation.
The third “Truth” is devoted to the “delivery” of the information. It brings to light the need to “sell” ideas or rules to difficult people rather than simply expect them to do the right thing because it makes logical sense. To difficult people, logical arguments are often rejected out of hand because of emotion, as we will discuss later in Module Four. We expound on the simple maxim offered up by our parents, “It’s not what you say but how you say it that counts.” Fact is they were right.
MODULE FOUR: The Five Step Approach and the Four Appeals of Persuasion
Aristotle, the recognized founder of what we really define as Rhetoric, used a series of appeals to gain compliance or create understanding in why he was correct in his suppositions or theories. These four appeals are inarguable and have been the source of getting people to alter their behavior and thinking for centuries. They are:
1. The Ethical
2. The Rational
3. The Personal
4. The Practical
More people will do things for us because they like us, respect us, or respect what we stand for than for any other reason. The first rule of sales training is “Get the customer to like you.” This personalization, or better phrased as humanization of the encounter, is crucial if we are to separate them from their money, their time, or their cooperation. In gaining compliance with rules or laws we must also be sales people who sell compliance and not a product. We must appear credible to achieve this goal. This is called the Ethical Appeal which is the source of our personal credibility.
The Rational Appeal is based upon facts, data, and evidence that are codified and legally enforceable. However most people under an influence already see themselves as reasonable so we are often forced to move from this appeal quickly. In fact, in most encounters we find that being right does not necessarily make us right. We usually find the more facts we heap upon the other person the angrier they become at both the situation and at us. Once people calm down and reflect on the situation they are more ready to listen to “reason.”
The Personal Appeal is very powerful and is attached to the Ethical Appeal. In persuasion leverage is applied by relating what we need to what they need, cutting across their experiences pictorially. The keys to using the Personal Appeal are found in what people have to gain or lose. Examples would be the gain or loss of:
3. Family or Friends
5. Value System
The careful use of these five work on the individual so they can “see” the benefit of compliance. The Personal Appeal clearly demonstrates what is in it for them if they comply. It works on the personal selfish interests of the individual, which sadly, is a main source of motivation for most people under an influence. They are also the basis for coercion, which may not be our original thought but is a valid motivator when they understand what they have to lose. How this is done is critically important to those being coerced.
The Practical Appeal is a last ditch effort to gain voluntary compliance. It can be asked as a question or may be an offbeat strategy or tactic providing it does not violate the law or compromise our integrity or safety.
The four appeals are the foundation of the Five Step Approach. The five steps are:
2. Set a verbal Context
3. Create and Present Options
4. Confirm the non-compliance
5. Act appropriately
The four appeals work in tandem and harmony with the Five-Step Approach. If we are required to move beyond words we can take the appropriate action with the peace of mind that there were no other viable choices at the time. The real buy in comes from the benefits or advantages of the Five Step Approach.
The Ten Benefits of the Five-Steps:
1. It gives the difficult person a choice. Some control over his or her self-destiny is gained allowing them to save face. People like a choice, even if there are only two and they don’t like either of them.
2. It sounds good to not only the individual but to everyone around. People witnessing the event complain about your behavior if you handle others poorly. The “Five Step” Approach is the most professional process available for dealing with uncooperative people to gain their compliance or demonstrate verbal persuasion has failed. The public can clearly understand why we acted in a certain way and see what we did to avoid it. Often we create a support mechanism from within the crowd.
3. It looks good on your report, especially if you have used any option beyond words. It meshes with SAFER at the ACT stage and creates an outline for the written report. It reduces the creative report-writing element, because we no longer need to worry about how to make ourselves look better than we actually were during the event.
4. It makes the reports we write easier to read and comprehend. The Five-Step is the equivalent of an outline. It makes the report-writing chore faster and more complete.
5. It creates a support mechanism within the organization. Because we have a protocol in place we have a consistent method of dealing with difficult situations. People who were not there may be inclined to give you the benefit of the doubt more often because there will be less fear about how the contact was actually handled.
6. It looks good in a court of law. The entire “Five Step” is defensible. You can explain what happened at each step and why you moved past the last step.
7. It reduces the EGO effect. There is no reason to get mad because we know we can move to the next step if necessary. People usually get angry when points of view are different. We feel we have been helpful and courteous and they think otherwise. Anger results when they have run out of ideas to work out the issue peacefully. When and if we act we show professionalism and a defined professional purpose as our reason.
8. It creates the Art of Backup. We have warned our co-workers but not the individual we are about to end the encounter. Another co-worker can enter the scene and assist because they already know where you are in the process. This looks helpful, even from the citizen’s perspective by reducing the natural fear and anxiety of having people gang-up on them.
9. It creates a “style” of customer service. It gives us confidence to handle future encounters knowing we have a better chance of being successful.
10. We lessen the stress of the job. The “Five Step”, done successfully, offer us the opportunity to go home and not worry about how we will explain the encounter the next day. When we have handled an encounter badly, we tend to dwell on it after the fact. If we are thinking about the previous encounter then we are not thinking about the encounter we are currently involved in. This diminishes both our attention to safety and our thoughts for customer service.
When we meet people for the first time we can reduce both stress and the potential for some of the conflict with a proper introduction by setting a context for what we can do to assist. Most people who need something from us enter the encounter with only a part of the information necessary to resolve their problem. They require direction from the people who work the inside of the system to help them get what they need. Consider that what people want is rarely what they need. The Meet and Greet, combined with the knowledge of how to use LEAPS (Module Five) can get information quickly and efficiently so we can help people, get them on their way, and move to the next problem. The Meet and Greet also is a very effective way to move the other to the resolution phase when used with the Five-Step.
MODULE FIVE: L.E.A.P.S., Five Tools for Persuasion
The LEAPS module is designed to ensure we understand the issue or problem, that the other person also understands we understand, and that we both depart knowing what will occur after we part company. LEAPS contains the necessary information to project we are both listening and empathizing with their difficulty. People will often work with us if they truly believe we are working on their problem.
In LEAPS we list the five basic types of questions and the two strategies to employ for keeping the other person calm and compliant. It is the only part of the actual communication process that can be viewed and is therefore important for not only generating voluntary compliance at the time we interact with the difficult person but for gaining future compliance if we meet again.
We also teach to only backup to the communication process – paraphrasing as the process of relaying back what we heard and think the other person meant in our own words and tones. We list fourteen power tools and why they are so important in being effective as a communicator. And, we teach the power of summarizing the encounter prior to ending the communication to reduce future problems and misunderstanding by creating direction, forecasting what is to happen and when, and finally stating the important parts of the meeting in a such a manner that we sound decisive.
MODULE SIX: When Words Fail
The acronym S.A.F.E.R. defines when we must cease words and move to action. We do not define what the action should be if you move beyond words as organizations have protocols and recourse already established for such measures. SAFER concisely defines and sets the context for the action to anyone who may need to be in the know. This is most effective in punishment or in refusal of services.
1. When the Security of people or property under our jurisdiction is in jeopardy we must act.
2. When are under personal Attack we must act.
3. When unlawful Flight has occurred we must act.
4. When we are at the point of Excessive Repetition and our verbal argument is not working and is unlikely to work, we must act.
5. If the situation of Revised Priorities where something of a higher priority comes to our attention and requires our presence we must act on the higher priority event.
The action taken must be in the best interests of everyone involved where the law is the governing authority.
ADD-ON MODULE: The Means versus the End Argument
Learning to “think correctly” before we criticize or condemn others for their thoughts and actions in an ethical imperative and we teach how to do it well. The manner of how we think before we speak is critical if we are to survive in a society where suing has become the national pastime. We must be cautious of how our professional credibility can be damaged by what we say. Using the Habit of Mind learned earlier we now teach the manner of rhetorically breaking down a line of reasoning to find flaws.
This thinking is called the (the) Means versus (the) End Argument. It is a way to listen to powerful and persuasive people to explore gaps in their planning or to see benefits in their reasoning. The argument becomes a way to teach ourselves how to think well so we are less likely to be discredited in our own plans, and as a way to gain the confidence of the people above us. Avoiding of the appearance of rash thinking is a prized skill in leaders.
Teaching Style and Presentation:
The program is delivery based and the material brought to life by dynamic, professional presenters. The classroom presentation is lively, interactive, and filled with valuable information brought to life by relating concepts, principles, and tactics to everyday life. We reach the audience through humor and a unique way of patterning human memory so participants can remember the information far longer than is usual for classroom only participation.
As professional trainers, we have enjoyed success on four continents. The latest book by Dr. Thompson is published in three languages and sold around the world. Over 800,000 people have been introduced to the tactics and strategies of Verbal Judo and our success grows with each class of participants.
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SUMMARY TALKING POINTS OF THE SUPERVISOR / LEADERSHIP PROGRAM
FOR SUPERVISORS AND LEADERSHIP
In the basic Verbal Judo program (Half, Full, and Two-Day programs) we cover how to deal with customers, objections, and problems as they are perceived or viewed from outside the organization looking in. Yet, frequently the problems that plague us regarding customer complaints are rooted in how we treat each other inside the work place. As internal morale is affected so is customer service affected.
We must now learn to work the principles and tactics of Verbal Judo up and down the chain of command. As supervisors we must gain the support of the organization and subordinates who may easily be annoyed at our performance and will undermine our efforts to be good leaders. It does not matter if they do this intentionally or unintentionally, it creates the same result: lower production and quality of effort. This basic problem reduces morale within the organization which will eventually creates complaints, lawsuits, poor professional behavior, and higher stress.
Credibility is far more difficult to maintain within the work place than with a customer base. We are seen with such frequency that we must be on the top of our professional game every day to the people who may well know how we really think about situations that trouble us. Even one explosion of temper can have a lasting affect on how we are treated or looked upon daily after the event. And, on the other side we often find ourselves in work environments where we may only see some people a few times a year, if at all, so if we act inappropriately it becomes the measuring tool for all future contact until our image in their eyes is changed.
Using the same philosophy as the basic program Verbal Judo creates a better work place by teaching how to govern what we say and how we say it. As we condition our thinking to be less reactive we become more responsive to situations as they occur unexpectedly. We diffuse anger, frustration, and verbal violence by not feeding it with our own feelings and emotion.
There are specific paths of reasoning we can follow to better our opportunities.
Credibility is built over time.
You can change the behavior that has created the problem but it requires time to enhance credibility and create trust. Our supervisory position creates “instant” credibility. But, what that really means is that credibility lasts only for an instant if we lose control in the presence of our subordinates.
People will watch and listen carefully to those who are in the process of trying to improve their communication skills and actions during stressful situations. We learn in the basic Verbal Judo program that in person-to-person communication is over 90% of our ability to move people to action. This is achieved by how information is delivered and not by the actual information. Effort is worth its weight in gold to the people around us for as long as they can see the improvement. Over time we will occasionally backslide and the “Art of the Apology” will allow us to recover quickly from a slip of the tongue with greater ease. No one is perfect and no one should cast the first stone but , …
Accepting responsibility for our actions and those of our organization.
This governing principle is a prized and necessary quality for leadership. You may not be the one causing the situation but if it happens on your watch you are the one expected to correct it, and with dispatch. It is easier to accept our supervisor duties if we are able to deal with the heat of the problem and the winds of verbal criticism that will always blow in with the problem. This section of the supervisory program includes a basic understanding of decision-making skills. We create an overview of these skills and fine-tune them for use under stressful conditions. Also covered is collateral issue of delegation and how to review past, current, and future performance using empathy and tact.
The ability to rhetorically analyze the problem and the situation.
The three acronyms of are defined and demonstrated from problem solving.
L.E.A.P.S.: Covered as a customer service element in the basic one and two-day Verbal Judo program the acronym is now shown as a complete picture of both service to the customer and how it can be developed and cultured to use with subordinates and upper management. The effective use of LEAPS can make subordinates more supportive and help others become more informed. This can be a delicate issue when helping those who lead you if they are intimidated by your actions.
P.A.V.P.O.: The Rhetorical Perspective helps us understand that we cannot control what we think but we can gain control over why we think that way. The knowledge is useful in gaining insight in our preparation for dealing with others in the workplace. We will be blind-sided much less if we have learned how to first accept we do have biases and then think of the problem from the perspective of the person(s) with whom we will soon deal with in the encounter. This is a much needed process in writing memos, setting initiatives, and in meeting planning. We develop the skill to organize our thinking before the encounter. A very old samurai maxim states that, “Success favors the prepared mind.”
P.A.C.E.: The Four Elements in any Verbal Encounter allows us to examine the problem from the professional problem and then from the other than our point of view, referred to as the rhetorical problem. Sometimes we must solve the other person’s problem in order to resolve ours. PACE enables us to use our Ethical Presence to calm others and then develop options to circumvent constraints found in disagreements.
Developing the ability to change the behavior of others positively.
This is critical, especially if it is not the first meeting regarding the problem. We must always think in the on-going mode. Problems with subordinates are rarely solved in one meeting or counseling session. Furthermore people who have problems rarely only have one, and even more rarely are those problems resolved to their total satisfaction. The Five-Step Approach, covered in the basic program is now examined and developed for motivation and in preparation for disciplinary action. If we must act, we act professionally, and within organizational protocols and policy.
Occasionally, supervision is sadly likened to baby-sitting duties but we believe it is more like guiding and herding. The term herding is often thought of as negative until it is examined fully. “You can lead but if now one follows what is the point?” This very statement means we must “inspire” our people. We must influence our people to be better than they would naturally desire.
One of the chief goals of leadership is to obsolete yourself in a particular position or duty when you are prepared for a change or promotion. We must culture, nurture, and educate our people so they can take our position and we can move up. This creates problems if insecure supervisors have a protective need to feel indispensable. This classic mistake actually will give the impression that you are too valuable to promote or too unwilling to help others. This ineffective style will translate to people in charge that such a supervisor is not able to adapt when situations call for creative or imaginative thinking. There is much talk in society about “empowerment” but seldom anyone teaches us how to do it well. Simply giving the authority to act can be folly. It is blind trust. Using delegation, praise and punishment properly will enhance our position because to get ahead you must get noticed.
The Verbal Judo program concedes the line of reasoning that people have hidden talents. If allowed to explore new ideas they may well create valuable contributions. We need conflict resolution tactics as creative thinking people often move inappropriately in areas and need to be ‘herded’ back into organizational rules of structure. Rather than control their thinking and actions we should try to guide their reasoning. Any negative statement will damage their desire to better things and reduce the willingness to be involved in future projects. We start with the maxim, “There is no such thing as constructive criticism!” There will always be conflict as supervisors guide and teach subordinates.
Be able then to praise and punish effectively.
Praise and Punish with the goal of not only modifying the current behavior but also altering the thinking that caused the problem originally. We must establish a clear, concise, effective, and inarguable process of punishing and offering praise to enhance leadership credibility. Delivering bad news is much easier if we can reduce the natural anger, frustration, or embarrassment that accompanies such an uncomfortable duty.
Learning to “think correctly” before we criticize or condemn.
The manner of how we think before we speak is critical if we are to survive in a culture where suing and criticizing has become the national pastime. Our comments as leaders speak with great weight to those listening and we must be cautious of how our professional credibility can be damaged by what we say. Using the Habit of Mind learned earlier we now teach the manner of rhetorically breaking down a line of reasoning to find flaws. We must always remember that perception is stronger than reality.
This thinking is called the (the) Means versus (the) End Argument. This is a mental four question analytical approach to listening to powerful and persuasive people where we explore gaps in their planning or to see benefits in their reasoning. The argument becomes a way to teach ourselves how to think well so we are less likely to be discredited in our own plans later, and as a way to gain the confidence of the people above us immediately. Avoiding of the appearance of rash thinking is a much prized skill in leaders
Understanding more of why we think in a certain way, and sometimes expect others to do the same.
Carl Jung developed a manner to understand people via a “quadrant” of personality styles. Every person has all of four styles present but one style will usually be dominant. These characteristics explain why we make decisions in the manner that we do. They are the cause of why we react to some circumstances and respond calmly to others which may even be more severe in consequence.
Leaders must understand both their own line of thinking and how to govern and use the way others think to gain compliance. Everyone is motivated by something. Knowing what the primary motivation is for others allows us to develop arguments that make sense.
Tests have been developed by hundreds of corporations that “predict” how people will react to situations. These companies and their tests have often brought issues to the surface resembling a “Pandora’s Box” of problems. People have argued bitterly that their self-description is not “really like them at all” but a mistake by the test examiner. There are however, numerous corporations that have made positive advances for the companies hiring people to offer such exams. People have learned much about themselves and others from the development of such “profiles.”
In Verbal Judo the test is a means to the end. Our manner of administering the self-examination is non-critical. As there is no right or wrong answers and we do not create the explosive atmosphere because we are not truly interested in the answers from the test. In truth, the short test is administered partly for the purpose of satisfying people’s expectations and curiosity. Because of the credibility we build during the Verbal Judo class people are more trusting of our approach. Because we teach dealing with conflict effectively we demonstrate the positive benefits to understanding how possible weaknesses can be used against you and “what you don’t know can be dangerous.” Knowing your “style” profile can help a great deal in why our old way of arguing failed so often.
We move quickly to how to deal with conflict and with other people in conflict with us because their style of thinking is different from ours. Knowing what is important emotionally can reduce problems before they erupt. As a quick example, people who are people oriented want to know how a project will benefit their subordinates prior to backing such a proposal. Someone who is oriented to thinking about the bottom line does not want to be bothered by large quantities of paperwork or time consuming meetings. A person who thinks analytically is more interested in the overall plan and its implementation that the day-to-day activities resulting from it. And, people who want to express their opinion or like having it asked need a forum at which that can occur.
Motivation is an internal mechanism. We teach the ability to influence behavior but we must accept that we cannot “make” anyone do anything without actually using force. Influence means we create the foundation or the external forces that work on how people naturally think. All sales professionals know that the customer must be made to feel good to be happy with the purchase. All leaders must make people feel good about decisions or policies or they will not back them completely.
This is often one of the most entertaining portions of the class as people experience self-discovery and recognize weaknesses or errors from their past. They learn to deal more effectively with others in the workplace and in their personal lives.
Develop a clear understanding of when words have failed and we must seek alternative measures to correct behavior.
The acronym S.A.F.E.R. was also taught in the basic Verbal Judo class but now is aimed at non-compliant subordinates. Prior to punishment we must be able to defend our actions. In this time of litigious thinking we must always be on top of the issues we face. We must demonstrate to our chain of command even before we get to the courts that we acted appropriately and correctly. We must show the line of thinking that governed our actions was lawful. We must show that we were compassionate and empathetic to the issue and the person prior to the punishment and that we reasonably tried to do we could to lessen the problem before taking action. We protect both our self and our organization from potentially harmful press and public condemnation. We learn how to resolve the matter now at lower levels before it grows to dangerous proportions.
TIME CONSTRAINTS FOR THE SUPERVISOR CLASS IN VERBAL JUDO
If participants have already taken the basic Verbal Judo class in a full day program then the supervisor class can be offered in a one or a two-day format. If it is a new audience then no less than two days will be offered except under special circumstances, as time is needed to perform the class correctly and successfully. Time is the measure of what our organizations will one day become. There are shorter programs for experienced managers and supervisors available. They are used to sample content or for overview of material but for integrity of the program and benefit to the audience present we strongly encourage the longer programs.
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SUMMARY TALKING POINTS OF A KEYNOTE PROGRAM
— PROGRAMS FROM TWENTY MINUTES TO TWO AND A HALF HOURS
And one of the following in a summarized fashion:
KEYNOTE SPEAKING FOR YOUR CONFERENCE OR FUNCTION
Banquets and functions are supposed to be fun. But in reality we know that they are gatherings with a purpose, from holidays and awards to centralized places to gain job skills and make contacts. People sometimes leave dissatisfied and people must depart excited if they are to be interested in attending again next year. There are explainable reasons for this problem and we have heard them all in the last twenty years:
1. They hired a speaker that may be humorous and entertaining but was less than useful in take home content. The person was fun to listen to but what or where was the point?
2. The actual material cannot be made interesting in short bursts and seems disjointed in the delivery. A program having been designed for the full content to be presented needs the full time in delivery to connect the dots.
3. Many trainers have yet to develop the skill in differentiating between the delivery style needed to entertain or perform in front of large groups and that of a more personalized style for break-out sessions with fewer people. They fall short in adapting to the changing flow of the audience and their needs. They fail not because they are not good at what they do or even from bad material, but from a lack of experience in this area or from the inability to hit the mark in shortened sessions.
The Verbal Judo program was set up in modules that can be delivered in very short time frames. From dinner or opening session breakfast keynotes of fifteen to twenty minutes to longer break-out sessions, we have developed shorter sections of the Verbal Judo philosophies and tactics that can be used immediately after in the workplace or in the home. We can do this with a lively and entertaining delivery taking the intense subject of conflict and the problems it causes in our lives and giving a volatile subject a life of its own. We have had over two decades of experience in building the blocks of the training to key into the central theme of a conference so the Verbal Judo program knits perfectly. We can even enhance the programs of other speakers and the organization’s values, its culture, and its needs. Verbal Judo becomes an anchor in situations where other speakers must deliver unpopular or dry content.
We can spend a little time with the conference point of contact and obtain the information needed to ensure the message we deliver is timely, relevant, and entertaining without being offensive. We must always remember that a sense of humor is relative and we go the extra mile to reduce the inherent risk of offending people in our message when we make light of the sensitive issue of conflict resolution. We are so successful at this that many times we are invited back the next year by popular demand. This is something we are proud of and will continue to give these shortened efforts the same due diligence we give to the organizations that hire us to do full programs.