Additional Verbal Communication Tools

A number of other verbal tools encourage communication and facilitate the goal of gaining a more thorough understanding of another’s perspective:

Questioning – the listener asks open ended questions (questions which can’t be answered with a “yes” or a “no”) to get information and clarification. This helps focus the speaker on the topic, encourages the speaker to talk, and provides the speaker the opportunity to give feedback.

“Can you tell us more about Johnny’s experience when he’s in the regular classroom?”

“How was it for Susie when she rode the special ed. bus for those two weeks?”

“Tell us more about the afterschool tutoring sessions.”

“What kinds of skills do you think are important for Jim to learn in a social skills class?”

“Could you explain why you think itís difficult for Ben to be on the playground for an hour?”

“I’m confused – are you worried that the testing may mean time out of the classroom for Jim or is there something else?”

Verbal Communication Tools

    1. Paraphrasing – a brief, succinct statement reflecting the content of the speakerís message.

    2. Reflecting Feeling – a statement, in a way that conveys understanding, of the feeling that the listener has heard.

    3. Summarizing – a statement of the main ideas and feelings to show understanding.

    4. Questioning – asking open questions to gain information, encourage the speaker to tell her story, and gain clarification.

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