The Seven Norms of Collaboration
Pausing slows down the “to and fro” of discussion. It provides for “wait time,” which has been shown to dramatically improve thinking. It signals to others that their ideas and comments are worth thinking about, dignifies their contributions, and implicitly encourages future participation. Pausing enhances discussion and greatly increases the quality of decision making.
To paraphrase is to recast into one’s own words, to summarize or to provide an example of what has just been said. It helps members of a team hear and understand each other as they evaluate data and formulate decisions, and it helps to reduce group tension by communicating the attempt to understand. Signal your intention to paraphrase (“So, you’re suggesting . . .”), and choose a level for the paraphrase: (1) acknowledge and clarify; (2) summarize and organize; or (3) shift the focus to a higher or lower level.
Probing for specificity
Probing seeks to clarify something