Active Listening Skill #4

The active listening skill for today is: Paraphrase.

It is wise to never assume full comprehension of what a speaker is telling you. Everything shared goes through a personal filter and so must be clarified in order to develop agreement on content. Begin by being attentive, asking open-ended questions, request clarification to gain deeper knowledge, and then use a paraphrase to check out the level of agreement.

When the speaker states “I love the fact that you are being more attentive.” a paraphrase back to determine understanding could be “You like the fact that I’m looking at you and smiling as you talk.” This paraphrase reflects back the concept of attentiveness, and adds your perception of what you are doing to be attentive.

If the original speaker agrees with the paraphrase, agreement is reached. If she disagrees, ask for clarification.

Understanding deepens as both persons work on bridging the communication gap. Emotional connectivity is often the result, and conflict is more readily resolved.

I would be honored to receive your comments.


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