Perception Checking Procedure

IDevice Icon Three Part Harmony
A perception checking statement is a message you create to check your understanding of someone’s words or behavior.

The benefits of perception checking statements include:
a) helping us decode messages more accurately: Our goal is mutual understanding

b) reducing defensiveness & the potential for conflict: helps us avoid assuming too much.
Perception Checking has 3 parts:
  1. Description - provide a description of the behavior you noticed.
  2. Interpretation - provide two possible interpretations of the behavior.
  3. Clarification - request clarification from the person about the behavior & your interpretations.

IDevice Icon Perception Checking Examples

Perception Checking Example 1

a) Description of behavior noticed

When you walked out of the room without saying “goodbye...”

b) Two possible interpretations of behavior

“I didn’t know if you were mad at me”

“or if you were in a hurry and forgot.”

c) Request for clarification

“What was up?”


Perception Checking Example 2

a) Description of behavior noticed

“You haven’t called in the few days"

b) Two possible interpretations of behavior

I am not sure whether you’re upset with me

or you’ve been busy

c) Request for clarification

What’s going on?”

IDevice Icon Video Example

In this video you'll see students practicing the skill of perception checking. It provides some examples of perception checking in action.

  Video by YouTube user JTIsaac

Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License

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