How can you anticipate a problem coming if you are not aware of what is going on around you? Are you listening?
The Verbal Judo Institute has develop the LEAPS system which will help you to improve your awareness of your environment as it relates to bullies.
You use some of these now. You know now when the time is not right to ask mom or dad for an increase in your allowance. You know when their mood is right and not right to ask them. This is the basic concept of LEAPS.
L stands for listen. You need to listen with your ears to the words the bully is using. You need to listen with you ears to the voice they are using. You need to "listen" with your eyes to their body posture and their distance from you.
Most of the time, people are not listening, THEY ARE WAITING TO INTERRUPT. If we don't listen, we are never going to see the problem coming. OR, we create the problem ourselves by not responding in a proper fashion--in other words we may over react to something that should not be escalated. That is why it is so important to PRACTICE watching how the bully speaks, their facial expressions, your history with them and the distance they use.
HOW DOES LISTENING HELP? 1. You develop the Mushin to remain silent. Be on the lookout for an ongoing problem. 2. You become decisive. You know when to take action and not over-react. 3. You have a pre-planned, practical response--one that you have practiced.
E stands for Empathize. Let's be sure we understand what this means. Many people think it is being sorry for someone. That is having sympathy. Empathy or to Empathize is to know and understand where the bully is coming from. You understand their behavior because you know the family he has, or the home he lives in, or the physical disabilities he or she may have. YOU TAKE THE TIME TO UNDERSTAND WHAT MAKES THEM TICK! Try to understand their anger guards.
HOW DOES EMPATHY HELP? Because you take the time to understand them better, you can improve your interaction with that person.
A stands for Ask. Asking does several things. It gets information, and it solves problems, hopefully gets positive responses. We ask for two main reasons. 1. to ask someone to do something or not do something. Would you rather be asked or told? 2. we ask to understand something or get clarification on something. Some people think that asking is a sign of weakness--it is not! A person practicing their Mushin will ask, a bully will tell.
Smart way of asking. Don't give a question that requires a yes or no answer or a one word answer. Ask WHY--that way you get more information to get more knowledge. Knowledge is power!