I'm very proud to announce the release of my latest book: The Coordinator: Managing High-Risk High-Consequence Social Interactions in an Unfamiliar Environment http://edgeworkbooks.com/the-coordinator/
My contribution is, essentially, an application of gokui from classical Japanese martial traditions, applied to situations where misjudgment or improper communication tactics could result in alienation from potential adversaries or even violence. Some people might assert that the koryu, the classical martial traditions of Japan have little relevance to modern times, other than preserving archaic knowledge and activities. I'm really glad to establish, in this collaboration with Robert Hubal, that principals from one some people regard as living antiques are directly relevant to the needs of the modern world.
This book embodies the core principles that imbue all my work in crisis intervention. I have been fortunate to engage in a true collaboration with Robert Hubal, a cognitive scientist, who works on the leading edge of the study of communication in high-risk, high-consequence situations. We met through our participation in a project funded by DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), entitled "The Good Stranger Project." I was brought in as a kind of ‘outlier subject-matter expert' (something for which DARPA is renowned, enabling them to include ‘outside the box' ideas in their endeavors). What I offered was a combination of several decades front-line work in crisis intervention informed by core principles derived from classical Japanese combative arts. Within these archaic traditions lie profound teachings on applied psychology within dangerous situations—how do you influence someone who is either actively trying to kill you, bears that intention, or at minimum, regards you with hate, fear or mistrust?
Together, Robert and I have created a unique work. The book is geared for trainers in very specific roles, but the content goes far beyond that. It is written in plain language and accessible imagery, and will be valuable to anyone: from warfighters in another people's land or police officers in a tough neighborhood to those working in emergency medicine, social services, businesses or schools.
- Ways of communicating that both research and experience have shown are most reliable in establishing respect and rapport, while maintaining tactical strength with others, even those from very different cultures or environments.
- Core elements and concepts that are a necessity in any potentially adversarial environment.
- Maintaining an effective stance and self-control throughout the interaction, no matter how difficult it is.
- Key techniques for ensuring that the dialog goes smoothly, and ways to recover when it goes sideways.
- The Coordinator maintains a focus on tactics, doing everything possible to enhance the safety of all people involved in the encounter. Simultaneously, the Coordinator strives to achieve a level of trust, engaging others with professionalism and respect. The Coordinator crafts the communication to form a working relationship to share in achieving the aims of the mission.
- This book is dedicated, in particular, to those at all stages and levels in law enforcement and the military who are, as current trends continue, going to be placed into more and more situations where their Coordinator skills will be absolutely critical to the other person's survival—and their own.