What are some Verbal Communication Strategies for Cybersecurity Specialists?

When working in a support role even as a Cybersecurity Specialist, you will be faced with all types of people when you communicate with them verbally. This article discusses the book Verbal Judo and principles for verbal communication that you can apply as a cybersecurity specialist. Verbal communication is an important soft skill to master as a Cybersecurity Specialist.


Verbal Judo is an art that can be used in many situations, from personal relationships to work-related issues. It\’s essential for anyone who wants to improve their communication skills, whether they are dealing with difficult people or just want to have better conversations with friends and family. This book is designed for those who want to improve their verbal skills and assertiveness by using a variety of key terms and techniques.

What is Verbal Judo?

Verbal judo is a type of verbal self-defense that enables you to deal with conflict in a constructive way. It provides techniques for using your words in ways that will not escalate the situation or cause anger or resentment in the other person. The objective of Verbal Judo is to provide a set of verbal skills that can be used to help people communicate more effectively.

Let\’s step back and review the description of this book. From Amazon.com, “Verbal Judo is the martial art of the mind and mouth that can show you how to be better prepared in every verbal encounter. Listen and speak more effectively, engage people through empathy (the most powerful word in the English language), avoid the most common conversational disasters, and use proven strategies that allow you to successfully communicate your point of view and take the upper hand in most disputes. Verbal Judo offers a creative look at the conflict that will help you defuse confrontations and generate cooperation from your spouse, your boss, and even your teenager. As the author says, ‘when you react, the event controls you. When you respond, you’re in control.’“

What is Judo?

Judo is a martial art that was created in Japan in the 1880s. It was developed by Jigoro Kano, who wanted to create a self-defense system that used techniques from both striking and grappling arts. The word judo means \”the gentle or yielding way\” and teaching of non-violent means of self-defense.

The goal of Verbal Judo is to make the opponent feel they have been satisfied and that they have achieved their goals. It is not about winning an argument, but rather it is about controlling the conversation and making it go your way. The techniques used in Verbal Judo are derived from Aikido, which also focuses on controlling your opponent without injuring them.

What is Verbal Communication?

Verbal communication is the act of exchanging information and ideas in spoken words. Communication can take many forms, it can be a conversation, a lecture, a presentation, or even a song. A person\’s body language and tone of voice also affect what they communicate to the listener. Verbal communication is an important part of human interaction.

What are the five universal truths of human interaction?

George Thompson is one of the experts in the world who\’s researched and studied human interactions as they relate to many different cultures. He has identified five universal truths which hold true across the board, regardless of cultural background, gender, etc.

These five universal truths are as follows:

  • Treat people with dignity and respect


    People want to be treated with dignity and respect. But, what if they don\’t know how? You need to practice kindness and being mindful of our words because we want people to be respectful in their interactions with us.

  • Ask people rather than tell them.


    A study found that people prefer being asked to being told. The research concluded that if you ask a question, the person can think about the answer and come to the conclusion on their own. On the other hand, if you tell them what to do or what to think, they will not be as convinced since it is not their idea.

  • Provide the “why” of the situation


    When interacting with people verbally, it is important to explain why are you asking them to do something. Give them context.

  • Provide people with options over threats.


    It has been confirmed that people prefer to have options over threats. They are more likely to engage in a behavior if they can choose from a range of options instead of being forced into one. The principle is so powerful that we find abundant evidence of it in human history, and even in the animal kingdom.

  • Give people a second chance


    People are often given a second chance and this is something we should be thankful for. We can\’t always predict the future, so it\’s wise to give people an opportunity to change their mistakes.

Core Principles of Verbal Judo

The first step in Verbal Judo is to read your audience and know your principles – the tools you will use to bring your audience to the outcome you want. \”Often the best way of targeting your audience is to see the person the way he sees himself. Which is the true essence of empathy.\”

There are two main principles of Verbal Judo:

  • Stay calm and relaxed and avoiding anger is a key to any martial art including Verbal Judo.
  • Empathy is the skill to understand someone\’s point of view, motivations and feeling deeply. This allows us to put ourselves in people\’s shoes and feel their emotions.

How do you practice empathy?

Empathy is all about trying to understand points of view, take in emotions and take action to help; it\’s a three-step process. These practices are designed to help people recognize their feelings, accept them without judgment, understand that they are not alone in feeling this way, and be kind to themselves in the process. By showing empathy you are reading your audience to be able to get them to the outcome you want.

Applying Verbal Judo

There is a five-step process in practicing Verbal Judo:

  • Step #1: Listen to your verbal partner.
  • Step #2: Empathize with your partner
  • Step #3: Ask for clarifications.
  • Step #4: Paraphrase your conversation and get input
  • Step #5: Summarize your conversation and actions to be taken

Application of Verbal Judo for Cybersecurity Specialists

This section will provide tips and tricks to deal with difficult people in the office. The tips will be organized under the following categories:

  • Handling difficult conversations

When we\’re faced with a difficult conversation, it can be difficult to know what to say. It\’s best to stay calm and use empathy in your responses. This means using phrases like \”I\’m sorry you feel that way\” or \”It sounds like you\’re angry.\” This can help the other person feel heard, and you\’ll get the chance to find a solution together.

  • Dealing with difficult people in general

Sometimes you may find yourself dealing with a difficult person. Difficult people come in different forms, but a common trait is that they will be more engaged in their own needs and less interested in what others care about. This can be frustrating for those on the receiving end at times, but it\’s not impossible to maintain composure.

  • Handling specific personality types

Handling difficult personalities in the workplace is a delicate process. One of the most important steps is making sure you\’re dealing with them in a way that doesn\’t drive them away.

  • Handling someone who is passive-aggressive

Passive-aggressive behavior is a form of aggression or anger that is covert or subtle. People who exhibit these types of behaviors are typically indirect and underhanded. They do not usually express their hostility outright, but instead show it through passive means such as procrastination, stubbornness, sullenness, or deliberate failure to accomplish requested tasks for which they are paid or responsible. You have to categorize them as difficult people and provide context and the why of the communication you are having with them.


Cybersecurity specialists are typically introverted in nature so it is hard for them to communicate effectively sometimes. This article provides some practices on how to be a better communicator as a Cybersecurity Specialist. Dealing with people whether in person or on the phone can be difficult. I hope these strategies will provide you with something that you can use in your verbal conversations.


Dr. M

Dr. M

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