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Active Listening

Brief:Learning to listen actively to check-in on peers mental health

Equipment: N/A

Step by Step

  1. Put the group into pairs and ask them to label themselves “A” and “B”.
  2. Ask “B” to speak about something they are passionate about with A doing everything they can to ignore B
  3. The follow up question to the group is, “How did they exercise feel?”
  4. Now ask the pairs to swap roles, this time B is going to listen to what A tells them like it’s the most wonderful, amazing thing they’ve ever heard
  5. The follow up question to the group is, “How did they exercise feel?”
  6. Now explore with the group how we know when someone is listening to us?

Write a list of behaviours that show active listening:

  • Eye contact
  • Tone of voice
  • Facial expression
  • Acknowledging and encouraging sounds
  • Open body language
  • Mirroring body language
  • Smiling
  • Being on the same level as the other person
  • Looking at them

Things to Consider



Practicing active listening is the only way to get better at it, this can be a practice that you bring into sessions following this initial explanation. In pairs, for 3 minutes practice talking about their day so far (or yesterday) or a small problem that they or their friends have had.

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