The Skill of Rephrasing

By: Jim Wadford in coaching, 3 years ago

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The Skill of Rephrasing is the second of the Communication Skills my company Coaching & Consulting International uses in training of Corporate leaders and church volunteers.  This definition of this skill  is “restating in your own words what the other person has said without quoting him/her word for word.”  Some would refer to this skill as paraphrasing.

There are several reasons for using the Rephrasing Skill:

  • ‣ To determine whether you have accurately received the message transmitted to you.
  • ‣ To give the speaker the opportunity to correct the listener if the rephrase is incorrect.
  • ‣ To make the speaker aware that the listener has heard him/her.
  • ‣ To demonstrate through your behavior that you have listened to the speaker and that you are genuinely interested in what they are communicating.

The Rephrasing Skill shows and requires a caring attitude of the listener. It increases the accuracy of communication between the listener and speaker and produces a higher degree of mutual understanding between them.  Read over the examples below to discover how to use this skill.

Example #1

Statement:

“I encountered a difficult day at work today.  Every project I tried to work on seemed to have a problem.  I felt like nothing could go right and the more I tried the further I get behind.”

Rephrase:

What I hear you saying is that you had a terrible day and everything you touched seemed to go wrong, and you felt like you were getting behind.

Example #2

Statement:

“No one in your company is concerned about the declining sales in our company.  It appears that all our sales personnel are behind in their quotas for this month.  If we don’t do something in the next month, our company will see massive cutbacks.

Rephrase:

Let me see if I understand you correctly, the sales at your company are declining, and if something isn’t done soon, your company may have to cut back. 

This skill is an effortless skill to learn. However, it goes a long way in showing you care for the other person who is sharing their story with you, the listener.  I hope you will take several opportunities throughout your day and practice the skill of Rephrasing.  Like and share this article with others as well!

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