What Are Mirror Questions (Dyadic Communication)

What Are Mirror Questions?

Mirror questions – non-directive techniques to encourage others to speak

Mirror questions are non-directive in nature, which means they are intended to encourage another person to continue to add detail to what they have said without influencing the person to go in a specific direction in terms of content. While they are often used in therapy type sessions to help clients open up, they are also exceedingly valuable in regular one-on-one discussions (dyadic communication), since they show interest in what the other person has to say, and can help minimize misunderstandings and increase rapport.

Most often, mirror questions involve restatements of what the other person has just said. For example:

Person A: I’m feeling really tired today.

Person B: I guess it sounds like you don’t have as much energy as you usually do?

Note the rephrasing used by person B, which is different than simple parroting or repeating (which is a bad thing).

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