The Gentle Art of Persuasion
Submitted by Marlene Dau, MAHC Board Member

I have been reading a book called “Verbal Judo” and realize how this is practiced or the lack of it is prac-ticed at every board meeting we all attend. So, I thought some of these Principals were so on point that they would be appreciated by our members.

  1. Always maintain your professional face. Your personal face is ego on your sleeve, your expression of irritation, anger, and bias.
  2. Always treat the other person as you would want to be treated under identical circumstances. This is really the Golden Rule, isn’t it?
  3. Be careful to distinguish between reasonable and severe re-sistance. Reasonable resistance is any kind of verbal re-sistance you encounter that does not interfere with your abil-ity to complete your job. Let it go!
  4. Every verbal encounter is unique. To each the question and the answer is important. Make that forty-first caller feel as if he were your first or only call of the day. Empathize!
  5. As a contact professional, you alone have the responsibility to create and maintain continuous rapport with people. Don’t expect others to become pleasant, malleable, or complaint.
  6. Always check your own assumptions. Your assumptions may be wrong. Be aware of your influence.
  7. Control encounters; do not become a victim of them. Don’t let people foot-sweep you by getting you upset.
  8. Use adrenaline; never be ruled by it. As people hassle you and put pressure on you, take pride in your role. The more others pour it on, the better you should play.
  9. Flexibility equals strength; rigidity equals weakness. Take pride in your ability to bend and flex, look-ing for voluntary compliance, working toward better communication.
  10. Use positive feedback when you least feel like it. Its easy to be positive with someone you feel good about. There is real skill in being positive when what you feel is negative.
  11. Never violate the equity principle. Treat people equally, regardless of their age, race, appearance, or apparent value to you.
  12. Cultivate your constituency; don’t try to run people’s lives. Every time you touch somebody with words you have an opportunity to make them feel better about their relationship with you. That gives you ultimate power.


Lastly: LEAPS: Listen, empathize, ask, paraphrase, summarize-----

- - - - - the five great tools of communication!!!!