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Oral Restatement

To prove that you heard and understood correctly, restate what you think the speaker just said to you. This is often called active listening. Use the following three-part formula for a restatement that will convey both your empathy and understanding.

  1. Paraphrase content

    Abbreviate or reword the information or thoughts communicated by the speaker. This will prove that you understood.

  2. Acknowledge feelings

    Listen to the voice and interpret body language signals to detect what feelings the speaker may be experiencing—most people won’t say—and orally acknowledge these feelings. This will prove that you have empathy.

  3. Ask a checkout question

    End your restatement with a brief question such as “Right?” or “Did I hear you correctly?” This allows the speaker to respond to your feedback, and it keeps the communication flowing.


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