Paraphrasing always had a negative connotation for my French ears. Like beating around the bush or repeating things without value.
I know a much better meaning now: it’s a cornerstone of listening and learning.
I’ve been in this wonderful course from Sam Kaner about facilitation and participatory decision making. Quality stuff! And one of the first skills we learnt was paraphrasing.
Paraphrase, mirror, mimic each other, create a connection and have fun! (Credits: Arnold Newman / Getty Images)
This technique is useful for events and any piece of work involving people conversing, in fact even for personal life.
Essentially it’s about interpreting what someone said to check we understood. Sometimes it’s just mirroring (repeating), sometimes drawing the person to say more, or even ask others t osay more about the same topic. Obvious you would think! All the more so as facilitators. Yes, I do it often, but not systematically…
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