How do you show a speaker that you are really listening to what he is saying?
When we speak to someone, the actual words we choose convey part of the meaning, but only part of it. Much of the meaning is conveyed by tone of voice and physical expression, especially undertones of sarcasm, emotion, or humor. Make sure your tone of voice and body language demonstrate a complete understanding of the nuance of the speaker’s tone of voice.
Empathic paraphrase measures
His empathic paraphrase is completely interchangeable when the speaker feels that he has accurately captured his thoughts and feelings. It often coincides with an excited burst of energy or an enthusiastic “Yes!”
The most common way your paraphrase will be inaccurate: Not all of the speaker’s key ideas are captured. That is, the paraphrase has subtracted something from what was said. Speaker says: “I worry about A, B and C.” The paraphrase reads: “You are worried about A & B.”
The next most likely way your paraphrase will be inaccurate: We listen to what we want to hear and focus on our own ideas. Then we add statements that the speaker did not make. The speaker: “I worry about A, B and C.” The paraphrase says: “You are worried about A, B, C, L and R.”
Instead of paraphrasing what was said, you offer your interpretation of what you think the speaker meant. You listen to A, B and C and say “I have the impression that what you are really talking about is G.”
Interpretive paraphrase is a double-edged sword. Interpreting the speaker too early often makes you think that you are not listening, that you are more in love with your own theories than with the speaker’s thoughts.
First, understand the needs and perspective of the other. This not only validates your business partner or customer and builds trust, but allows you to better align your ideas, solutions or products with their needs or values. The result: greater satisfaction with the interaction, an improved relationship, and a greater likelihood of association.
As we begin to paraphrase more deeply, we often cannot remember everything the speaker has said. The solution is to interrupt the speaker early, before our “buffer” fills up. Speakers don’t mind being interrupted if their purpose is just to paraphrase for understanding. “Excuse me, I want to make sure I get this right. You think …”
How to ingeniously interrupt:
1. Use a gesture, a signal to “wait” for a moment:
– Make the time-out sign with a smile.
– Make a rough cut gesture.
– Rise your hand.
2. Increase the volume to “up” on the speaker.
3. Give your face an expression of expectation, excitement, alarm, or concern.
4. Lean closer all of a sudden.
5. Use a phrase:
– “Let me make sure I understand this …”
– “I want to understand this …”
– “So you’re saying that …”
– “Aah, I think I get it! You …”
Start sharpening your paraphrasing skills. Practice “parroting” what another person says – every thought spoken, using as many exact words as possible. That is, you will try to repeat exactly what is said. As we go through the full model, it won’t be so literal. Instead, you will capture the essence of what is being said using the speaker’s keywords.
Phase 1 of the process occurs when you listen to someone else
Repeat as many exact words from the other person as possible.
Make sure you have accurately captured each other’s thoughts. Check, “Is that
Truth? “Interpret anything other than an unequivocal yes as” no. “Please try again.
Paraphrase with empathy
Paraphrase in a way that captures “the gist” of all the main points the speaker makes. Use the keywords of the speakers. (We are all more comfortable with our own words and we know what we mean by them.) Work to ensure that your tone of voice, gestures, and energy level match those of the speaker.
When should I paraphrase?
1. To make sure you understand the other party. If there is any doubt about its meaning, paraphrase. The act of paraphrasing can help you put seemingly disparate pieces of content together into a coherent concept. Often times, the meaning of the speaker will only become clear to you when you try to paraphrase it.
2. Show the other party that you really DO understand what you are saying. An interchangeable paraphrase is the only technique that we know will do this.
3. Prepare report. People like to feel understood.
4. When the situation is charged with emotions. This helps defuse the conflict. When the other party feels that they have heard and understood them, they tend to feel more calm and open to their point of view.
5. Listen more closely. When your mind wanders, remember to “prepare to paraphrase.” Making a strong paraphrase is rewarding.
6. To play the speaker’s message. This is useful if what they have said does not make sense or seems absurd. Once they hear it, they often rephrase it into a more coherent message.
7. When you hear emotional language and emotional buttons. The speaker mentions these points because they have strong feelings. When you paraphrase interchangeably, the speaker will be satisfied that he has “got it.” For instance:
– We are excited for …
– We fight with …
– I have been a loyal customer for 5 years and now you …
– I put my ass on the line and now …
People don’t give enough weight to the “empathic” aspect of empathic paraphrase. An empathic paraphrase is characterized by “empathy”; that is the ability to understand the situation, feelings and emotions of another person. Many of us begin by remembering what the other said, but we are unable to grasp the emotional tonality of the speaker. Empathy supports our ability to connect with another person and respond in a way that builds deeper relationships.
If you repeat the speaker’s words in a dispassionate and distant key, you have not paraphrased empathically. Listen to the speaker’s emotions, feelings, and desires, then express your voice and use your face and gesture in a way that reflects your understanding of the speaker’s emotional state.
If another person is very excited, it is appropriate to show your own enthusiasm while paraphrasing. However, in other situations, you can get into trouble simply by mirroring the speaker’s emotion. If someone expresses fear or anger, the echo of these feelings will only increase the unpleasant feelings. Instead, perhaps softening your voice to a soft tone that reflects a confident calm will calmly support them.
If he expresses intense anger, paraphrasing with intense concern or regret will ensure that you understand how strongly he is feeling.
Practice the technique at work with colleagues, in social situations, or at home with family. Notice how people tend to respond when they feel like you are really listening and understanding.
These techniques have made our interactions more fruitful and facilitated challenging customer exchanges. Give it a try.