Sometimes your client has talked too fast, you need to know more or you’re not sure if you’ve got the right message.
Here are some questions to help you clarify and confirm information.
When you didn’t understand the reply:
Could you repeat that, please?
I’m sorry, but I didn’t catch that.
Could you say that slower, please?
Notice these questions use that and not it.
When you need more information:
What do you mean when you say you only notice the pain sporadically?
Could you be more specific/precise, please?
Could you give me an example, please?
When you want to make sure you’ve understood the reply:
Do you mean the pain only comes after eating?
What you’re saying is the pain only comes after eating?
If I’m hearing you correctly, the pain only comes after eating?
And when a patient hasn’t understood your question?
Then you need to ask again:
In other words, does it also hurt when you have a hot drink?
What I mean is, does it also hurt when you have a hot drink?
What I’m trying to say is, does it also hurt when you have a hot drink?
Choose a few of these clarifying and confirming questions to memorise so they’ll pop out automatically when you need them.
Want to make up some questions and get them checked? You can email them to me and I’ll give you feedback.
Also, do you need to talk about pain in your work?
© Christina Wielgolawski