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Demonstrate ways to check that communication has been understood

This page is designed to answer the following questions:

NOTE: This page has been quality assured for 2021 as per our Quality Assurance policy.

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.

You should be observant and responsive during conversations to assess if the individual is understanding you. For example, a confused facial expression or slouched position could suggest that they do not understand or are not listening.

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 they recognise what you have been saying.

You can also repeat back the main points of the conversation at the end of the discussion along with 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.