Active Listening

Understanding the benefits of listening actively to others, and recognising if they are listening to us, to strengthen dialogue.

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Everything you need to play this game

  • Flipchart and pens

A step-by-step guide to play the game


Split the group into pairs and ask the pairs to sit back-to-back. One of each pair should tell the other something that he or she does not know about. They have two minutes to do this.


Now ask the pairs to turn and face each other, and repeat the exercise.


Bring the group back together and ask the people who had to listen:

  • How easy was it to listen to what your partner had to say?
  • What was difficult?
  • What helped you to listen?
  • What made it difficult?

Use the responses to explore how we could show we were listening to what was being said (eye contact, facial expression, nodding etc.) and how it made us feel when we were not being listened to.


What techniques did the speaker use to help us listen to what they were saying (tone of voice, pace, volume, gesture etc.).


Remind participants that although we might have different views from our audience, we must be willing to listen carefully so that we can respond to what they say.  This means looking at all the different ways we communicate. 

Specific learning objectives

By the end of this activity participants will have reflected on the importance of non-verbal communication in listening.

What people said about this game

Rob Sweldens

Manager StreetSmart Mobile School NPO BE

23 September, 2019


Nice reflective activity to make people feel what listening is all about! Thank you for sharing!

Sander Degeling

Partnership Coordinator Africa & Asia StreetwiZe • Mobile School BE

23 September, 2019


Easy and accessible activity to explore the different dimensions of (active) listening! Perfect workshop material.

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