Demonstrate ways to check that communication has been understood

This page is designed to answer the following questions:

When communicating with others, whether it be the individuals you support, co-workers, managers or other professionals, it is important to check that they have understood what you have said.

If you don’t do this, there is the potential for misunderstandings which can lead to others performing incorrect actions as well as upset and distrust.

One way to make sure that an individual has understood and comprehended what you have said is to ask them to repeat it back to you in their own words (paraphrasing). If they are able to do this then there is a high likelihood that recognise what you have been saying.

You can also repeat back the main points of the conversation at the end as well as the actions that you have agreed to clarify the important parts of the conversation. It can also be useful to do this in writing, which all parties can sign to agree that they understand.

Example question and answer

Describe two strategies that you could use to clarify misunderstandings.

A misunderstanding can be clarified by actively listening to what an individual is saying and then verifying their main points. This is done by repeating it back to them in your own words and asking if what you have said is correct.

Another method that can be employed is to ask somebody else to mediate. They may be able to better understand the individual as well as explain it to you in a different way.