Active Listening

ACTIVE LISTENING TOOL KIT TIP SHEET

Active listening skills can be practiced and developed with anyone at any time—friends, family members, co-workers, and of course, au pairs and host families. Below is a sample statement with examples of how to use the active listening tool kit.

Take these examples and adapt them to real conversations you have with your host families and au pairs. It might seem forced or awkward at first, but with practice it will become more natural.

“She is irresponsible and selfish to think she could let a friend stay the weekend without asking me. What kind of au pair does that? I’ve had enough, and I want her out of the house now!”

Open-Ended Questions General, broad inquiries: What was your relationship with her like before this happened? How have things been going overall?

Clarifying Questions Specific, targeted inquiries to get more information: “Just so I understand, what are your house rules about inviting guests to stay over?”

Mirroring Repeating their words back to them, almost exactly, “So, you say that you feel she is irresponsible and selfish to let a friend stay for the weekend without asking you, and you want her out of the house now.”

Reframing Repeating their words back to them, but in a less charged way: “I hear that your au pair let a friend stay over for the weekend without asking you, and you want her to leave.”

Summarizing Condensing what a party said to distil key points and emotions; paraphrasing, “You are angry your au pair had a friend stay for the weekend without asking you.”

Assumption Evaluation Asking them to explain how they reached certain conclusions: “You say you want her out now. Have you thought about a backup childcare plan if you go into transition and aren’t able to find a match right away?”

Potentially hazardous as it can possibly call into question your neutrality. Silence Staying quiet to put the burden on the speaker to move forward. Body Language Posture (leaning towards them, no arms folded), eye contact, etc.

Thursday, 16 March 2017 5:32 AM

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