Download Annex

Unite Ambassadors Training Session 6 Plan – Listening skills

By the end of this session participants will:

  • Be able to identify the aspects of both good and poor listening skills
  • Understand the impact that those who demonstrate poor listening skills may have on those around them
  • Have had the opportunity to practise and consolidate good listening skill                                             Listening skills are an important part of effective communication. Through listening, we will be able to understand the hearts and minds of people. Listening means paying attention not only to the story, but being aware of both verbal and non-verbal messages.
5IntroductionIntroduce the session so that participants understand the intended outcomes and they have an overview of the activities.Whiteboard
15Ice-breaker - M&M's

This is intended to warm up the conversation among participants.
Using a packet of M&Ms the participants take a lucky dip. The participant answers the question associated with the colour picked.
Copy of annex 1 (translation in mentor guidance section)
Pack of M&Ms
5Why might listening skills be important for an ambassador?Brainstorming ideas in small groups.Brainstorm ideas and suggestions as to why listening skills important for an ambassador.
Discuss suggestions that have been put forward.
Flip chart/ large paper
10View examples of poor listening skillsWatch the video and discuss: What makes a bad listener a bad listener?
Ask Ambassadors to suggest non-verbal examples of poor listening skills. Show slide 4 (Being inattentive or disrespectful) from the PowerPoint (Annex 2).
Annex 2 PowerPoint download
Examples of poor listening skills: (
10Practice/role play poor listening skills in pairs
In pairs take turns to talk for a short time about a recent trip/holiday/interest while the other person isn’t listening properly.
Discuss how it felt in each role (speaker and listener). Participants reflect on their own listening skills and how they can avoid being inattentive when serving as ambassadors.
10What are good listening skills?
Discuss good listening skills. Watch the video that is hyperlinked in slide 9 of Annex 2.
Ask Ambassadors to suggest non-verbal examples of good listening skills. Now reveal slide 10 of Annex 2.
Behaviours exhibited by good listeners.
- Making eye contact
- Smiling
- Nodding your head
- Sitting up straight
- Leaning slightly towards the speaker
- Uncrossing your legs and arms
Watch video via hyperlink.
Annex 2 PowerPoint download
10 ways to be a better listener – customer service training
5Using open-ended questionsTwo-way conversation is aided by asking open-ended questions. Discuss the difference between closed and open questions. (Why, When, How…… )
Closed: Are you feeling good today?
Open: How are you feeling today?
Gather suggestions of open questions.
Watch video via hyperlink.
Annex 2 PowerPoint download
Two-way conversation: asking open-ended questions
5The importance of neutralityYou may need to explain some of the words used
Remaining neutral
Conveying objectivity
Using neutral language
Varying voice intonations
Annex 2 PowerPoint download
15Practice/role play good listening skills in pairs
Each person will interview his or her partner for five minutes. The goal of each interviewer will be to elicit the following information from his or her partner: Who s/he lives with, his/her favourite subject in school, and his/her thoughts or feelings about teenage pregnancy
(it is of course totally reasonable to change the information to be gathered)

The interviewer's job will be to encourage his or her partner to share information and feelings by using non-verbal signals and active listening, while remaining neutral about his or her partner's opinions.
The interviewer will be responsible for reporting the results of their interview to the rest of the class.
After five minutes the pairs will switch roles.

When time is up everyone should come back together as a group to discuss the experience. Consider the following:-
Did they feel heard by their partners? If yes, what made them feel like their partner was paying attention?
How did they feel in each role?
Do they think their feelings might have impacted upon their listening skills?
Do they feel that they know their partners better because of this exercise?
5Session conclusionParticipants should be encouraged to reflect on new knowledge they have gained and share the best things that they learned during the session.