You might think that you are a great listener. You could even possess an innate ability to grasp the facts and feelings quickly, without having to talk about things over and over again. You don’t miss a thing. Paraphrasing takes a lot of time and effort. Is it really necessary?

Yes, it is necessary. In fact, it can save time and money by preventing misunderstandings and mistakes. Paraphrasing is an understanding and reflecting response, that indicates your intent to understand the other person’s thoughts and feelings.

Listening and interpretation is only 25% accurate. This means 3 out of 4 times we have it a bit off. There are three main reasons to why we paraphrase:

  • Demonstrate that we do understand
  • Show that we are trying to understand
  • So that people can hear what they just said

People think faster than they can talk and sometimes we need to parrot back to them in case they need to clarify the message they were trying to convey.

The key to effective paraphrasing is to listen closely and whenever there is a chance of misunderstanding, reflect on the thoughts and feelings of the other person to help clarify the conversation and enhance accuracy.

For more on effective listening, watch Kit Welchlin’s presentation here

Check back next Monday for another video blog.