M103 Listening Effectively
Often, when we have conversations with students in the personal tutoring or advising context it can be easy to want to jump straight in to giving advice and opinions on what we think the issue or solutions might be. Instead, we might try to fully listen to, or observe, what the student is telling us (verbally and non-verbally). In personal tutoring and advising, your role is typically to help the student to ‘think better for themselves’; to unpack their own issues and blocks and establish their own goals and support needs.
Active Listening is a technique that requires the listener to pay full attention to the speaker’s verbal and non-verbal communication. An active listener is not passive during the conversation, instead they listen and reflect back what was said, or not said, in order to ensure that the speaker feels acknowledged and valued. Active listening can also be a helpful tool to develop rapport in general.
What will you learn from engaging in this activity?
- Demonstrate attentive body language when listening to the student
- Explore listening skills which allow the student to tell (unpack) their query, concern, or issue in their own way
- Implement listening skills which confirm understanding and acceptance
- Select approaches for establishing an open and inclusive conversational environment
- Articulate your own values and objectives as personal tutors
What key concepts will you understand as a result of engaging in this activity?
There are six key skills which support active listening.
After listening attentively and ensuring understanding through open-ended questions and summarizing, you can help the student reframe negative experiences by identifying and disputing irrational thoughts and turning bad experiences into a growth opportunity. Helping students look at their situation differently will not change their situation but will help students practice thinking about challenges from a healthier perspective- a perspective from which they have more control over their own emotional health and cognition.
What essential questions will this activity address?
- How do you know that you have completely understood the student’s concern and perspective?
- What is the student telling you with their non-verbal communication?
- Is the first, or main, topic/issue that the student choses to discuss with you the actual or only item they need support with?
- Do you tend to jump straight in to providing advice, guidance, or direction, or do you listen fully and encourage the student to unpack their issue and circumstances?
- Does the student know themselves and their needs better than you?
- Are you equal adults sharing a conversation?
Before you engage in this activity, we recommend that you have studied these UKAT Curriculum activities, or attained equivalent experience.
M101 What is Personal Tutoring? [Learning Module]
Framework Competencies Addressed
C4. Expected outcomes of academic advising and tutoring
R7. Collaborate effectively with campus services to provide support to students