If a pc says something and the auditor fails to understand what the pc said or meant, the correct response is:
"I did not (hear you) (understand what was said) (get that last). "
To do anything else is not only bad form, it can amount to a heavy ARC break.
To say, "You did not speak loud enough_____" or any other use of "you" is an invalidation.
The pc is also thrown out of session by having responsibility hung on him or her.
The Auditor is responsible for the session. Therefore the auditor has to assume responsibility for all comm breakdowns in it.
Far more serious than invalidation above, is the accidental evaluation which may occur when the auditor repeats what the pc said.
NEVER repeat anything a pc says after him, no matter why.
Repeating not only does not show the pc you heard but makes him feel you're a circuit.
The highest advance of 19th Century Psychology was a machine to drive people crazy. All it did was repeat after the person everything the person said.
Children also do this to annoy.
But that isn't the main reason you do not repeat what the pc said after the pc. If you say it wrong the pc is thrown into heavy protest. The pc must correct the wrongness and hangs up right there. It may take an hour to dig the pc out of it.
Further, don't gesture to find out. To say, pointing, "You mean this item, then," is not only an evaluation but a nearly hypnotic command, and the pc feels he must reject very strongly.
Don't tell the pc what the pc said and don't gesture to find what the pc meant.
Just get the pc to say it again or get the pc to point it out again. That's the correct action.
Also, do not shove things at a pc or throw things to a pc. Don't gesture toward a pc. It drives in anchor points and makes the pc reject the auditor.
The reason a person who Rock Slams on Scientology or auditors or the like can't audit well is that they are wary of a pc and feel they must repeat after the pc, correct the pc or gesture toward the pc.
But Rock Slammer or not, any new auditor may fall into these bad habits and they should be broken fast.
A very high percentage of ARC breaks occur because of a failure to understand the pc.
Don't prove you didn't with gestures or erroneous repeats. Just audit, please.
[This HCO B is reissued verbatim as HCO B 23 May 1971, Issue VI, Basic Auditing Series 6, Auditor Failure to Understand. It is also edited for use on the HQS Course as HCO B 25 October 1971, Issue III, Auditor Failure to Understand.]