Paraphrasing information is a very important skill to be able to wield in the workplace and abroad. After watching this video you will be able to break large pieces of information up into bite-size chunks for easier evolution and recall.
- The literal definition of paraphrasing means to summarize a message with fewer words. This active listening technique does two things. It tells the speaker that you're listening attentively, and it allows you to check your understanding and focus on the core of the message. If you paraphrase something that's not along the lines of their message, hopefully the speaker will communicate it again and give you a different example. Paraphrasing can sound like this, "So you're saying that..." "So you're upset because..." "Can I take a minute and tell you what I've heard so far?" "Here's what I hear you describe happened to this point..." I sharpened my skills of this active listening behavior when I worked in human resources and did conflict resolution. Often, when our office got involved, two employees were not talking at all and the atmosphere was vitriolic. I would spend time listening to each and paraphrasing to try and understand the situation, their viewpoint, and their overall needs. I specifically remember the long discussions with Michael, a long tenure employee in a complex organization. He was angry, he was frustrated and full of specific examples when we first met. The problem was that his speaking was all over the place. It jumped from old examples, things that others said, specific interactions with his trouble colleague, and his interpretations. Paraphrasing allowed me to give the information back to him and let him identify what his priorities were, what the most important issues were for him, and what he wanted as an end result. Practice your paraphrasing and clarifying lines next time you have a chance to listen. Both will allow you to bring value and focus to your active listening.
- Define attentive listening.
- Explore what happened when you are distracted by delivery.
- Recall what a mental filter is and how it can affect assumptions.
- Explore methods for choosing the best paraphrasing response in the situation.
- List the five listening intentions.