In Summary…

In any coaching conversation, one of the most important skills that a coach needs to learn is to reflect, summarise and paraphrase.
𝐑𝐞𝐟𝐥𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 back is in essence holding up a mirror for the coachee and letting them hear what they said, using their own words and perhaps even how they said it, tone, and all.
It could be several sentences, a sentence, a few words, or perhaps even just one word.
Reflecting provides both clarity and understanding for the coachee.
𝐒𝐮𝐦𝐦𝐚𝐫𝐢𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐠 on the other hand is when you almost always use the clients words or very occasionally your own words, in a shortened concise overview format, to check that you are both aligned.
Frequently I’ll begin by saying “In summary” or “As I understand it then…” or “In my words, I heard…” It is condensing the content of what has been said, down to its very essence.
Whenever I get nearer the action points of a coaching session, I usually turn to the coachee and allow them to start summarising for themselves.
𝐏𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐩𝐡𝐫𝐚𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐠: According to the Oxford Dictionary, “To paraphrase is to express the meaning of (the writer or speaker or something written or spoken) using different words, especially to achieve greater clarity.
Oftentimes I find myself paraphrasing the content of the coachees words, which could be several sentences long.
Or you can also paraphrase the emotion behind the words.
For example a way to paraphrase emotion is to “that sounds really exhausting” when a coachee is finding a situation particularly difficult. This lets the coachee know that you are listening and provides the
evidence that you have really listened!
It also really helps to build trust and develops empathy.
These three principles are important in developing great communication skills.
What principle will you work on in your conversations today?