This reminds me of the single most useful thing that I have read: The Lost Art of Listening by Michael Nichols. He writes that people rarely listen to each other and details exactly how we fail to listen to each people. I found it to be an educational. Dr. Nichols main message we could use here at Prosper student care? is “be quite!” Don’t interrupt the speaker and listen. Wait.And then realize “..Listening isn’t a need we have; it’s a gift we give…” to our students and people we care about.
Be interested and attentive. Students can tell whether they have your interest and attention by the way the rep replies or does not reply. Forget about the things around you and other distractions. Maintain your attion to show that you really are with the child.
Encourage talking. Some students need an invitation to start talking. There are some students that are more likely to share their ideas and feelings when others think them important.
Listen patiently. People think faster than they speak. Children often take longer than adults to find the right word. Listen as though you have plenty of time.
Hear the student out. Avoid cutting them off before they have finished speaking. It is easy to form an opinion or reject someones views before they finish what they have to say. It may be difficult to listen respectfully and not correct misconceptions, but respect their right to have and express their opinions.
Listen to nonverbal messages. Many messages people send are communicated nonverbally by their tone of voice, , their energy level, their posture, or changes in their behavior patterns.(check coaching notes and other CMS notes for changes in their behavior patterns) You can often tell more from the way a student says something than from what is said.
Avoid dead-end questions. After listening ask the kinds of questions that will extend interaction rather than cut it off. Questions that, require a yes or no or right answer lead a conversation to a dead end. Questions that ask a person to describe, explain, or share ideas extend the conversation.
Extend conversation. Try to pick up a piece of the students conversation. Respond to his or her statements by asking a question that restates or uses some of the same words used. When you use the student’s own phrasing or terms, you strengthen their confidence in their conversational and verbal skills and reassure them that their ideas are being listened to and valued.
Share your thoughts. Share what you are thinking with the student. For instance, if you are trying to figure out a coach change , get the student involved with questions such as, “I’m not sure what type of personality you would prefer in a coach, one who will be more advanced or intermediate ?. What do you think would be best for you?”
Observe signs. listen to the student for signs that it is time to end a conversation. When a student begins to give silly responses, or ask you to repeat several of your comments, it is probably time to stop the exchange.
Reflect feelings. One of the most important skills good listeners have is the ability to put themselves in the shoes of others or empathize with the speaker by attempting to understand his or her thoughts and feelings. As a caring person , try to mirror the students feelings by repeating them. You might reflect feelings by commenting, “It sounds as if you’re angry at your coach.” Restating or rephrasing what children have said is useful when they are experiencing powerful emotions that they may not be fully aware of.