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Reflecting Words

 

Techniques > Conversation techniques > Reflecting > Reflecting Words

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Listen to the words and phrases that the other person uses to determine the most significant ones.

Then use these words within your responses.

Most of use have preferred words that we use more than others (mine include 'significant', 'particular', 'such as' and 'effective'). These are particularly effective words to repeat.

There are types of word often fall into the 'preferred' category, typically those where there is a large choice, such as superlatives (great, fantastic, wonderful, etc.).

A way of watching for these words as well as their frequency is in the emphasis that the person may place on them.

Also reflect noises, such as mmm, um, er, etc.

Be careful with this not to over-do it. If they detect that you are copying them, you will have reverse effect to that desired.

Example

Other: I think we could go out more often. I also think we could do very different things each week.
You: Mmm. I think a weekend away would be good. What do you think?

Other: Steven has a rather interesting idea.
You: That's interesting. I'd rather like to hear what Jean has to say about it.

Discussion

If you can spot the words that others use and use them in what you say, then they will naturally find what you say more attractive.

When we use the words of others, then they hear themselves in us. And nothing is more interesting than me!

See also

Parroting, Reflecting verbal style

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