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Clarification Interrupt

 

Techniques > Conversation techniques > Interrupting > Clarification Interrupt

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Interrupt by clarifying what they have said, testing your understanding.

Tell them that you do not quite understand what they are saying and repeat what they have said -- then move to what you want to say.

It is usually better to paraphrase what they have said, rather than exactly mirror them, although using their words is often effective.

After you have clarified, you can pause to let them agree, but beware of them taking control again.

Example

Ah! So you want to open a new store? Is that right? Well I have been thinking about that too, and I was wondering...

Can I just check something? -- it seems like you are saying that we should leave tomorrow. Well, I've been thinking about this and...

Sorry, I don't understand, do you mean that Simon is responsible? Well, to some extent he may be, but...

Discussion

Expressing confusion effectively says 'I haven't a clue what you are saying, so you might as well stop.'

Clarifying what they say shows respect for the person and interest in what they are saying. This sets up an exchange dynamic whereby they feel obliged to show respect in return by listening to you.

See also

Reflecting

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