Lesson 6 – Be a Good Listener

Lesson Outline


A continuation of discussing what makes a good facilitator:

  • Learn an active listening, in such a way that we can understand what others are sharing, and feed it back to them so that they know they have been heard. A lack of good listening can undermine the growth of the group.
  • Focus on the person through eye to eye contact, nodding, slight verbal affirmation or a reflexive statement. Reflect back to the person the components of what they’ve shared.
  • Engage the heart. There will be a time for giving answers, giving advice, coaching, confrontation and teaching. This comes after a person has been listened to and understood. Often, people are not able to receive instruction until they feel that they have been properly understood. This helps keep the leader in check as well, ensuring they are really listening and not just preparing their response.

Note that active listening does not mean agreeing with what is shared, but recognizes that what is being shared is true or real for the person. It is ensuring that the person feels validated, understood, cared for and attended to.

Things to avoid:

  • Diverting the conversation from the sharer’s agenda. Do not be too quick to share our own experience or thoughts before validating the person sharing.
  • Giving platitudes such as lofty theologies, judgments, over-spiritualizing.
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