Boosting Team Collaboration and Performance

The Benefits of Restating and Repeating in One-on-One Meetings

At NextRoll, our Owl Culture Creature represents hiring great people and helping one another grow. Alfonso Guerrero-Villa, Principal Program Manager, Revenue Programs, channeled his inner Owl in this article to help fellow managers discover how restating and repeating can enhance team collaboration, reduce misunderstandings, and improve performance in one-on-one meetings with direct reports.

As a manager or leader, one of your most critical responsibilities is to have regular one-on-one meetings with your direct reports. These meetings provide an opportunity to discuss work-related issues, assess progress, and set goals.

However, these meetings may yield the desired outcomes with proper communication and alignment. One effective way to maximize the value of these meetings is by restating and repeating what you heard to the other person.

Restating involves summarizing or clarifying the key points made by the speaker in your own words. Doing this confirms you understand what was said and allows the speaker to clarify any misconceptions. 

When you repeat what you heard, you clarify your understanding and actively engage with the speaker, which can build trust and rapport between you and your colleague.

Here are six benefits of using restating and repeating in your one-on-one meetings with direct reports:

  1. Clarifies your understanding of the ask: Direct reports often present a complex or complicated problem. Restating can help you break it down into simpler components that you can better understand. In addition, by summarizing their point, you can immediately identify and address gaps in your knowledge.

  2. It helps you remember the priority by repeating out loud: Amid busy schedules, it can be easy to forget the details of a meeting. However, by repeating the key points, you are committing them to memory and acknowledging their importance. This can help you stay focused and prioritize your work accordingly.

  3. Assists in listing the next steps: Restating can help you and your direct report identify the specific actions needed to address the problem. By summarizing their points, you can help them identify the next steps they need to take and set realistic deadlines to achieve their goals.

  4. Increases alignment between the two people: When you restate, you create a shared understanding of the situation, reducing the likelihood of misunderstandings and miscommunications. This can help you and your direct report work towards a common goal and achieve better outcomes.

  5. Reduces confusion and provides an opportunity to clarify: When you repeat what you heard, you are allowing your direct report to clarify any points that were not clear or to add additional information. This can help avoid miscommunication or confusion that could lead to errors or missed opportunities.

  6. Builds team trust by an active act of listening: By actively listening and demonstrating your understanding of your direct report’s concerns, you are building trust and rapport with them. This can help foster a culture of open communication and collaboration, which can improve the overall performance of your team.

Several studies have found restating and repeating can improve communication and understanding. For example, a study published in the Journal of Business and Psychology found that active listening, including restating, significantly improved communication quality and decreased misunderstandings between supervisors and employees. Another study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology found that summarizing was critical in improving team collaboration and performance.

Restating and repeating what I heard has been incredibly helpful in my one-on-one meetings. During a meeting, my manager and I reviewed a new initiative based on 2023 goals for the company. I took the time to summarize and repeat what I understood from their presentation. This helped me understand the issue and identify areas where I could provide support. It also improved our working relationship.

In summary, it's essential to pay attention and actively listen, repeat key points, align with the speaker, and apply the information appropriately. By following these steps, you can minimize the impact of any potential "lost in translation" moments and ensure that you and your colleagues are on the same page.

Learn more about our Owl Culture Creature and how we support one another’s growth at NextRoll.