ADHD: Repeat Back to People What They Said Before Moving On
One of the real challenges for fast-thinking Hunters is listening deeply when other people are speaking.
One of the real challenges for fast-thinking Hunters is listening deeply when other people are speaking. Our brains are running so quickly that we want to interrupt and blurt things out before we forget them!
One great strategy to slow down and pay attention also gives people we’re talking with a strong sense of being heard. Here’s the story:
From a psychologist in Oregon:
In school, one of the techniques we learned to use with people when doing psychotherapy is to repeat back to them what they just said. There are two ways to do this: one is to use their own words, which makes them feel like you’re listening to them (an important thing).
The second is to repeat back to them what you understood them to say: this is where you identify miscommunication, and can often help them to see things in a different way.
I lead an Adult ADHD support group, and I’ve shared these techniques with my group’s members. From the feedback I’ve gotten, it’s apparently one of the better social skills that people with ADHD can cultivate. It both teaches them to listen, and also helps in conversation.
I taught them to use phrases like, “So you’re saying that people should always buy used cars instead of new cars?” Or, “It sounds to me like what you're saying is that used cars are a better value than new cars. Is that right?”
Of course, since the people in my group are all ADHD, they had to come up with dozens of variations and new and different ways to do this, out they all seem to work.
And, for many of them, the reports that I’m nearing are that this simple strategy has vastly improved their functioning, both on the job and in their personal lives.