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Listening Skills Exercise

Purpose: A group exercise highlighting good and poor listening behaviours.

Materials: Good Listener and Poor Listener Briefs.


Instructions: Exercise requires audience to group in 3’s.

  1.     Ask for one volunteer from each group to be a story teller to the other 2 – need a 4 minute (ish) story.
  2.     Take the other 2 outside the room and give out the Good and Poor Listener Briefs – 1 to play good, other to play poor.
  3.     Don’t tell storyteller the roles they will play.
  4.     Back in room, storytellers have 4 minutes to tell story.

GOOD Listener Brief:
In response to what you are hearing, play the GOOD Listener (but don’t exaggerate) by:

  1.     plenty of eye contact
  2.     no fidgeting
  3.     uncrossed legs
  4.     leaning forward
  5.     open hands
  6.     a few nods and ah-has
  7.     a couple of smiles
  8.     take notes

POOR Listener Brief:
In response to what you are hearing, play the POOR Listener (but don’t exaggerate) by demonstrating the following behaviours at times (not all the time):

  1.     sit down cross legged
  2.     slight slump into chair
  3.     generally keep your arms crossed
  4.     little eye contact
  5.     look at clock once
  6.     look at your watch once
  7.     frown a lot
  8.     fidget with keys or fingernails


  •     How did it feel as the storyteller?
  •     What effect did it have on you?



Author: Bryan Edwards

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