Active listening exercises for adults (Top 5)

The current blogspot will be based on the question “What are active listening exercises for adults?”. We will learn the various active listening exercises that are used with adults for practicing and learning active listening. We will also discuss each strategy that can be used by adults for practicing active listening.

What are active listening exercises for adults?

Active listening is a great tool for effective communication. In order to learn effective listening, there are various exercises in the form of games and team activities so that adults are able to practice and learn the adult active listening.

Through active listening exercises, adults are better able to understand the speaker’s intent behind the conversation and also to empathise with the speaker.

The core aim behind the exercises for adults to practice and learn active listening is to make them accustomed to the intentional and active process of active listening. The main objectives that are achieved through the active listening exercises for adults are :

  • Individuals learn to pay attention to the speaker
  • Adults are better able to listen without interrupting
  • Adults know not to comment and defer their judgment
  • Adults are better aware of empathizing with the speaker
  • Adults learn to use and identify non verbal cues to understand the overall intent of the speaker
  • Adults are aware of using the open ended questions for getting a deeper insight into the speaker’s world.

The following are some of the exercises that are used with adults for active listening :

  • Mime it out
  • Omit the obvious
  • Listen listen and listen
  • The absent minded listener
  • The sandwich and the hamburger
  • A drawing task
  • Respecting pluralism
  • Relive emotions
  • Train of thoughts

Mime it out for active listening in adults 

The mime it out activity for active listening in adults is based on  acting out a given situation with minimum use of words and using the non verbal cues only. This activity is conducted in a group  or pair. The other people have to understand the feeling and the idea being communicated by the person who is miming out the situation. 

The objective behind the mime exercise for active listening among adults is to help the adults develop an understanding about the non verbal communication in active listening. This also helps out  the individuals to develop an insight about body language. Through this exercise, a clarity is developed about the faulty perception of body language. 

Omit the obvious for active listening in adults 

The omit the obvious activity for active listening among adults is based on training the individuals for attentive listening. In this exercise an individual speaks about a certain topic. During his speech he intentionally tends to omit a certain word that is relevant to the topic. After being done with his speech, he speaks on another topic for a while and then asks the other participant about the word that he intentionally missed from the list. Most of the people would recall the word being said as it is relevant and only the people who were actively listening will be able to remember the word not being communicated at all.

This activity helps the individuals to understand being attentive during the active listening process and also highlights the importance of repetition in retaining information.

Listen listen and listen for active listening in adults 

This exercise for active listening in adults is based on practicing listening skills . The individuals are tasked in groups of 2 – 3members. The members take turns to listen for 5 minutes to the member who speaks continuously for 5 minutes without being interrupted.  No other person from the group can speak during this time. 

At the end of the listening time, the speaker has to paraphrase whatever he listened to for the 5 minutes. The speaker corrects, clarifies and confirms if the speaker is saying whatever was right or not. 

The main objective behind this active listening activity for adults is to build the tolerance level among the listeners to boost their listening skills. Through this exercise, the reflective skills and paraphrasing skills of the listeners are also polished and they are more capable of using them in their routine life. 

The absent minded listener for active listening in adults 

The absent minded listener activity is conducted to help the individuals understand about the importance of active listening techniques in their routine life. The absent minded listener activity is based on the listener ignoring all of the verbal and non verbal cues of the speaker and being distracted from all the environment noises.

In this way, the listener will notice that the speaker will be less motivated to share his perspective and the conversation that started with high energy will lose its direction.

The main objective behind this activity is to highlight an importance of positive body language use from the listener in order to gain a deeper insight into the speaker’s words and intention. 

The sandwich and the hamburger for active listening in adults 

The sandwich and the hamburger exercise is based on one individual giving cues to other members of the groups for both the words “sandwhich” and the “hamburger”. The group members are told that on the word sandwich they need to raise their left hand whereas on the word “hamburger” they need to raise their right hand”.

The group is instructed to raise the same hands as instructed for each cue. After a while the speaker starts mixing both the cues and raises a different hand in response to each cue instead of as was instructed. 

The main objective behind this activity is to enable us to understand not only the verbal cues but also the non verbal cues during the active listening process. 

A drawing task for active listening in adults 

The drawing task activity for active listening is based on teams of two people. A person in a team is given a few instructions whereas the other person is given paper and a pencil. The person with paper and pencil draws whatever the other person instructs him to draw. 

The drawing person is allowed to ask questions to clarify and better understand. The drawing person draws as he is instructed. At the end of the activity, the drawing is matched with the instructions. 

The main objective behind this activity is to highlight the importance of seeking clarification and using the right questions for better understanding.

Respecting pluralism for active listening in adults 

This active listening activity is based on respecting the views and perspectives of people opposite from the individuals own views. This activity is conducted in a group of two. The speaker speaks about a given topic that is contrary to that of the listener’s. With an objective of listening patiently to the speaker’s words and paying attention, the speaker tries to understand the point of view of the speaker without being angry or frustrated.

Through this activity, active listening skills are promoted within the adults without being judgmental and biased.

Relive emotions for active listening in adults 

This exercise is based on mentally revisiting a scenario that triggered a sudden emotion in you. The aim is to rethink the situation and frame a better response that would have prevented you from reacting to the sudden emerging emotion and rather use active listening skills to handle the situation.

The main objective behind this exercise is to promote empathy and develop emotional intelligence with being more responsive rather than reactive.

Train of thoughts for active listening in adults 

The train of thoughts active listening exercise among adults involves the first person of the group to speak for a while on a certain topic. This is followed by the second person who tends to summarize whatever he listened to and then adds his own viewpoint on the same topic. This exercise continues till the first person reaches his second turn. 

The main objective behind this exercise is to develop active listening skills  and summarizing skills among the adults.

Conclusion

The current blogspot was based on the question “what are active listening exercises for adults?”. We enlisted the various exercises that can be used for learning and practicing active listening with adults and also discussed the details of each exercise.

Frequently asked questions : active listening exercises for adults

What are 5 active listening strategies?

The 5 active listening strategies are as below :

  • Pay attention
  • Show that you are listening
  • Donot interrupt
  • Provide feedback
  • Defer Judgement

What are the 3 A’s of active listening?

The 3 A’s of active listening are :

  • Attention
  • Attitude
  • Adjustment

What are the 7 skills for active listening?

The 7 skills of active listening are :

  • Be attentive
  • Ask open ended questions
  • Ask probing questions
  • Request clarification
  • Reflect feelings
  • Summarize
  • Be attentive

What are the 6 active listening skills?

The 6 active listening skills are :

  • Pay attention
  • Withhold judgment
  • Reflecting 
  • Clarifying
  • Summarizing
  • Sharing

Citations

https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-active-listening-3024343
https://www.bellarmine.edu/docs/default-source/faculty-development-docs/06-active-listening.pdf?sfvrsn=1db29481_2

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