Week 2 - Active listening

Session: Active listening

Session objective: This section explores active listening techniques, good listenings habits and offers tips for better listening skills.

Exercise (10 min)

Exercise objective: Identify feelings resulting from passive listening

  1. Group splits into two (A & B)

  2. Bs leave the room and wait outside

  3. Instruction for As: Whilst listening to their partner, As will put their hand up for five seconds everytime their partner says something that evokes As 'inner voice' (e.g. they want to ask a question, makes them think about something etc.). They do this for the entire conversation. They are not allowed to interact with Bs; ask questions, affirm understanding, etc. They just raise their hand every time their inner voice kicks in.

  4. Instruction for Bs: Bs will speak to As about something of interest to themselves; an experience, last holiday, anything positive that has happened in the last six months. They have three minutes to talk.

  5. Bs come back into the room, each trainee from group B pairs up with another trainee from group As.

  6. Bs talk for three minutes to their pairs.

  7. At the end of the three minutes groups switch, and they repeat the exercise the other way around.

  8. At the end of the second three minutes, trainees discuss how they felt while talking or listening to their pairs, and what emotions were evoked.

Exercise (15 min)

Exercise objective: To reflect on learning and come up with practical ideas for communication challenges

Step 1: Write down in bullet points how you can build trust within a team

Step 2: Write down in bullet points how you will show empathy and concern for others

Step 3: Write down how you will seek clarity if someone in your group is not clear, and clarify when someone has misunderstood what you are trying to say

Step 4: Write down three open-ended questions which will help you to de-escalate a conflict in your group

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