It is important to explicitly teach skills of listening but equally important is providing opportunities to reflect and evaluate on how well they listen.
The Listening Ladder as described by Stott and Gaunt (2019) gives a guide as to specific areas to work on:
- Giving 100% of their focus to the person speaking
- Being calm and still
- Giving eye contact to the speaker
- Offering nods or short words of encouragement
- Reacting and refocusing
- Asking questions to clarify understanding
- Asking questions that dig deeper
- Summarizing the speaker’s ideas
Transform Teaching and Learning Through Talk (Stott, Gaunt 2019)
The idea of the Listening Ladder is that you work on one area at a time before you move onto the next. Give it a go!