September 18, 2017

A second type is the Organizing paraphrase. The non-linguistic representation for this paraphrase is luggage. Ideas are literally put into containers and are “organized.” The thinker or the group may have so many ideas that are floating around that it is difficult for them to see patterns, themes, relationships, or categories. The skilled coach or facilitator can hear these multiple thoughts and can organize and relate them to each other for the coachee or for the group. Imagine standing with your nose to a white board filled with writing that captures the thoughts of the group or the coachee. It is hard to make sense of what is “written there.” An organizing paraphrase helps the thinkers take several steps back, gain perspective and distance on the jumbled thoughts, and allow them to see their ideas more cogently and coherently.

Examples of organizing paraphrases might include:
“There are three issues that you are dealing with as a team: budgets, time constraints, and adequate staff development.”

“First you hope to resolve the issue with budgets and then you can move forward with adequate staff development.”

Remember to use organizing paraphrases with individuals and groups to help mediate and refine thinking. How might you look for ways to offer organizing paraphrases? Who do you need to be in order to paraphrase a group?