There is not a more powerful listening tool than the paraphrase. Listening with the goal of leaving the speaker heard and understood requires that we speak. We can’t just take notes, understand, and internally process what someone is saying to let that person know we are listening – we must say back what we hear them saying. The Powerful Paraphrase is our tool.
There are three parts to a Powerful Paraphrase.
1. WHAT / FACTS / EXPLANATION
What are the facts? What is the main point of what happened or the situation?
2. EMOTIONS / FEELINGS
What are the feelings about the facts?
3. REASON / VALUE / DEEPER COMMITMENT:
Why do the facts cause the emotions?
Your friend runs into room jumping up and down saying he won the lottery.
- “So, you won the lottery!”
This is true and accurate, but incomplete.
- “So, you are excited you won the lottery!”
This adds the emotion she is also communicating, and is more accurate and more complete.
- “You are you excited you won the lottery because now you can live the life you wanted!”
This adds the Reason for the emotion and completes the paraphrase.
Pretty simple, right? And powerful. Try it out!
The Powerful Paraphrase Template
The template for the Powerful Paraphrase is simple:
So, you feel ___________ < emotion.
about ___________ < what happened.
because ____________ < reason for emotion.
Two Examples of Powerful Paraphrases
- So, you feel excited Trump won the presidency because he will make America great again?
- So, you are afraid that Trump won the presidency because you worry he is not qualified?
Note: neither of these paraphrases suggest the listener agrees with the speaker.
The download for this Listening Diet Challenge lesson is a PDF Powerful Paraphrase. Remember, those enrolled will get all 31 worksheets, resources, and practice assignments for just $1/day!
Enroll in The Listening Diet Challenge!
And, members of The Listening Corps already have all of this information available to them when they enroll into that international leadership development network. The Listening Corps focuses on just on listening skills but also on leadership and facilitation skills. Find out more at ListeningCorps.com.
Preview for Tomorrow
In Day 10, we will introduce emotions.
Thanks for listening!