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Reflecting Verbal Style

 

Techniques > Conversation techniques > Reflecting > Reflecting Verbal Style

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Listen carefully to the overall style of speaking that the other person uses. Listen to the types and combination of words, the use of jargon and other stylistic elements.

Shape what you say to fit in with this style.

Style includes not only words but factors such as length and complexity of sentences, use of pauses, inflection and so on.

If you cannot copy the style, beware of making yourself look foolish. If necessary, use less complex means of reflecting.

Example

Other: I would consider that a movement in the direction of governmental disintermediation could be fairly advantageous in the shorter term.
You: I do wonder if disintermediation is would be rather excessive at the current time, although perhaps medium-term preparations could be issued.

Other: The bit rate in the data stream must be at least ten gig.
You: But will the data stream degrade within the optical media?

Discussion

People talk in whole styles of language, often based on cultural factors. Thus a university professor will not use the same words as a street gang member.

Most professions have jargon, so also do ethnic groups, religious groups, social groups and so on. You do not need to know a great deal to significantly increase your credibility.

See also

Reflecting words, Paraphrasing

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