Motion – countermotion. Offense – defense. This kind of thinking and behaviour seems to be deep-seated in european brains, whether it’s in daily live or in job communication. But countermotion and a blind rage of defense unnecessarily cost a lot of energy – in live and in communication. Therefore, in the upcoming week use the power of Kung Fu for effective communication.


What Far East already knows sometimes is very hard to learn for Europe: Defensove counterstrike are not the one and only way to react when being attacked. Martial arts like Kung Fu rather redirect the counterpart’s attacking energy and then use it for themselves.

Here is an example: Imagine that somebody tries to attack you with a frontal punch. If you try to meet the attackers fist with your own you need a lot of energy to moderate his punch and probably you’ll hurt yourself a lot. But if you redirect the punch sideways you protect yourself, distract your opponent and can use his punches power to pull the rug out from him.


Kung Fu in communications

Applied on communication the attacking opponent is your conversational partner and the punch is a vehement No or a verbal attack. In such a situation most people instinctively react with a but-counterstrike.

No! – But we have to….
You’ve done everything wrong. – But that’s not true!
I knew it, you forgot XY! – But I did not know…..

After the “but” effective communication is over and the conversation only is a back and forth, mutual insulting and blaming.

The next time you are attacked in a conversation don’t fight back but distract your counterpart with an interrogative redirection tactic.

No! – Why don’t you like this suggestion?
You’ve done everything wrong! – What exactly do you mean?
I knew you’ll forget XY! – What was agreed on XY and between whom?



Calm and considered questions instead of but-punches have the power to take the wind out of hot tempered discussions’ sails. And if your counterpart answers your question – he likely will – you learn something new and collect information, insights and arguments. Then you can use them to follow your own goals while also respecting the intentions of your counterpart. This way the conversation ends with a win-win situation instead of a knock-out.


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