How to check if you have been understood

It is important to check and verify that you have understood what is being communicated to you.

If you do not understand written communications e.g. letters, instructions, policy documents you must ask for assistance with it. For example you should ask the author of it or your manager to explain in to you. It is better to admit that you are not clear about something than to make a mistake because of being unclear.

Likewise, if you are not sure what someone has been trying to tell you then you must try to clarify that you have understood them. If you have not heard them clearly over the telephone or you find their voice, dialect or accent difficult to understand you need to be patient and to check that you have not misunderstood.

Make sure you ask questions in a way that the individual has to provide a detailed response (open questions), rather than asking questions which only require ‘yes’ of ‘no’ (closed questions). For example: ‘What do you like to do in your spare time?

How can you confirm that you have been understood when you communicate with others

  • A good way to check what someone has said is to repeat it back to them. Reflecting back means repeating in your own words what you think another what has been said to you. It can also help to build conversations as well as giving the other person the opportunity to clarify what they have said. It can also help build conversations as well as giving the other person the opportunity to clarify what they have said.
  • Never be afraid to say that you have not understood someone. If they have repeated something and you still do not understand it ask them to say the same thing using different words.
  • Always check with the person that they understand anything you give them in writing and always read back anything you are writing down which they are saying to check that you have recorded it accurately.
  • When recording notes for example, after a visit, meeting or telephone conversation always check what you have written and if you were not sure that what you are writing is an accurate reflection of what you have been told say so and if you know the reason why, state it.

Use to answer question 6.3c of the Care Certificate

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