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Demonstrate ways to check that communication has been understood

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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 tasks being carried out incorrectly and expectations not being met. This can lead to distress and distrust.

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

One way to ensure 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 can do this, then there is a high likelihood that they understand 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.

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