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Desert Highway
Thoughtful writing authored and shared by members of of the Thinking Collaborative community to support others on the journey.

Sustaining the Journey

The Effects of Paraphrasing

Authored By:

Thinking Collaborative


March 17, 2014

As a coach, listening requires full attention not just to hearing words, but also to hearing meaning. How does a coach take responsibility for hearing meaning and assisting the other person in making his/her own meaning? Meaning making is a product of interaction and socially constructed interpretations. The primary tool of the coach to do this is the paraphrase. The paraphrase is an inference delivered by the coach to the other person. The coach infers the meaning the person is conveying, restates his/her understanding and then waits for the other person to affirm or clarify the meaning. The affirmation is received both verbally and nonverbally. Without paraphrasing we are truly limited in our ability to co-create meaning.

This week pay attention to your patterns of paraphrasing. Also notice the frequency with which other paraphrase you. Give your attention to the effects of paraphrasing.

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