Quick Tip: Powerful Paraphrasing | Summary and Q&A

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August 8, 2023
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Stanford Graduate School of Business
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Quick Tip: Powerful Paraphrasing

TL;DR

Paraphrasing is a valuable communication skill that validates the speaker, confirms understanding, ensures clarity, buys time, manages conversations, and allows for reframing topics.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What is paraphrasing?

Paraphrasing is the act of extracting the essential meaning of what someone says and expressing it in a clear and concise manner. It involves capturing the bottom line of their message.

Q: How does paraphrasing benefit communication?

Paraphrasing validates the speaker, making them feel heard and understood. It also confirms the message and allows for clarification or correction. Additionally, it ensures that everyone is on the same page and helps manage conversations.

Q: How can paraphrasing buy time in a conversation?

Paraphrasing is considered a lower-order cognitive skill, which means it requires cognitive effort but not complete focus. By paraphrasing, the listener can continue thinking about their response or the direction they want to take the conversation.

Q: Can paraphrasing be used to reframe topics?

Yes, paraphrasing can be used to reframe a topic, although it should be done carefully and ethically. By paraphrasing someone's question or statement, the speaker can shift the focus or perspective to address it more effectively.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Paraphrasing involves extracting the key essence or meaning of what someone says and expressing it concisely and clearly.

  • It validates the speaker and confirms that their message has been heard and understood.

  • Paraphrasing ensures that everyone is on the same page, especially in large or virtual meetings, and buys time for the listener to think ahead.

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