7 Things Firefighters Should Never Say
By Dr. George J. Thompson
5. “I’M NOT GOING TO TELL YOU AGAIN!”
We teach in Verbal Judo that ‘repetition is weakness on the streets!’ and you and I both know that this phrase is almost always a lie. You will say it again, and possibly again and again!
Parents do it all the time with their kids, and firefighters are known to say it when the stress level gets high. The phrase is, of course, a threat, and voicing it leaves you only one viable option: action. If you are not prepared to act, or cannot at the time, you lose credibility, and with the loss of creditability comes the loss of power and safety!
Even if you are prepared to act, you have warned the subject that you are about to do so and forewarned is forearmed.
If you want to stress the seriousness of your words, say something like, ‘Listen, it’s important that you get this point, so pay close attention to what I’m about to tell you.’
If you have used Verbal Judo’s Five Steps of Persuasion you know that we act after asking our “nicest, most polite question,”
“Sir, is there anything I could say that would get you to do A, B and C?”
If the answer is NO, we act while the subject is still talking! We do not telegraph our actions nor threaten people, but we do act when verbal persuasion fails.