Ensure Mutual Understanding

Have you ever been in the position where you felt that you needed to fake your understanding of something that is being asked of or told to you? This occurs when communication breaks down and mutual understanding is not achieved. This video focuses on strategies to avoid communication breakdown and to ensure mutual understanding.


· What is communication breakdown?

· How can I make sure my audience understands my message?

· What strategies can I use to avoid communication breakdown?

· How will paraphrasing a question back to your audience ensure mutual understanding?

· How can I communicate more effectively?


Communication is everywhere, but do you know how to effectively communicate? My name is Jill Schiefelbein with Impromptu Guru and these 60 second videos will help you communicate well.

Ensuring mutual understanding is a really important part of the communication process that’s actually not done frequently enough, at least in my opinion. Communication breakdowns often occur when one party believes they understand what the other is saying but doesn’t really because there’s never a check for that mutual understanding. Here are some ways that you can ensure mutual understanding in your conversations.

The first way is to paraphrase back what was said to you. If someone says a statement and not a question, you can paraphrase it back to them. “So Jill, I heard you say this, is that what you meant?” and give them a paraphrase. That can help ensure that mutual understanding.

Likewise, let’s say you’re asked a question and you’re not quite sure how to respond, maybe like in an interview situation, one of the things that you can do is rephrase the questions back to the interviewer and say “Sir, I understand that you want to know X, Y, and Z. Is that correct?” they can respond back yes and you can continue with your answer.

Use these tips to ensure mutual understanding and you’ll communicate more effectively.


Impromptu Guru has products that dive deeper into communication and presentation skill topics. Our latest product, Business Presentation and Public Speaking Skills for Non-Native Speakers (ESL–English as a Second Language) helps you learn to better prepare for your business presentations and business public speaking opportunities in the United States. Learn more about the Business Presentation and Public Speaking Skills for Non-Native Speakers online workshop.