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Paraphrasing enables the listener to clarify the speaker's meaning ... has fully understood the speaker's meaning ... 2. Determine the meaning of the message ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Paraphrasing

Lisa J. Downs
  • American Society for Training and Development

Paraphrasing Defined
  • Paraphrasing is an effective form of verbal
    feedback to use when listening
  • It is not simply repetition or parroting, but
    restating another persons statement in your own
    words to gain understanding

Paraphrasing Defined
  • Paraphrasing enables the listener to clarify the
    speakers meaning
  • It also conveys interest in what the speaker is
    saying and helps create a supportive environment
    for the conversation

When to Paraphrase
  • The listener is not completely sure he or she has
    fully understood the speakers meaning
  • The speaker is emotional and may be using highly
    charged language
  • The listener needs better understanding of the
    message to respond well

When to Paraphrase
  • The listener may react strongly to the message
    which can interfere with interpretation of the
  • The speaker may have a thick accent or is
    speaking a language that is not their primary
    one, possibly causing difficulty for the listener

Paraphrasing Example
  • Speaker Im having a hard time communicating
    with Bill and I dont know whats
    going on.
  • Paraphrase It sounds like youre frustrated
    that you and Bill arent getting along these
  • Speaker Yeah, and Im just not sure what to do
    about it.

Paraphrasing Example
  • Speaker I thought I did a good job on that
    report I turned in, but I got it
    back from my boss today with corrections
    all over it.
  • Paraphrase If Im hearing you correctly,
    seeing those corrections was a big
  • Speaker It threw me for a loop, thats for

Paraphrasing Example
  • Speaker I feel awful today.
  • Paraphrase It sounds like youre coming down
    with a cold.
  • Speaker Actually, Im just dreading having to
    present at the department meeting
    this afternoon.

Steps for Paraphrasing
  • 1. Listen carefully to the speakers message
  • 2. Determine the meaning of the message
  • 3. If you think a paraphrase is needed, restate
    the message in your own words to share the
    meaning you received

Paraphrasing Tips
  • If the paraphrase is off target, the speaker will
    set the listener straight
  • Paraphrasing may not be appropriate in all
    circumstances, especially for simple, quick
    verbal exchanges
  • It may seem awkward at first, but it will become
    more natural with practice