To achieve Step 6, individuals will be able to demonstrate that they are listening by using eye contact with whoever is speaking and other positive, encouraging body language.
In earlier steps, individuals focused on their experience of receiving information and how to take that information on effectively. The next steps, Steps 6 to 8, focus on how individuals can demonstrate effective listening to others.
The building blocks of this step are learning how to:
In education, there will be occasions when you need to work with others. This might be in a group discussion, to create a presentation or to work on a project. When working with others, eye contact is very important to demonstrate that you are listening to their ideas and focused on what they are saying. By ensuring you make effective eye contact, you might build better relationships with others or encourage a team member to share an idea that could really benefit the project or assignment.
Positive body language is also an important part of being a good listener. In school, college or university, you might have important meetings with teachers, lecturers or advisors. During these meetings, it’s important to show you are interested in what is being said and present yourself professionally.
In the workplace, it is important for you to develop positive relationships with your colleagues, managers, customers and stakeholders. When listening to someone speak, using effective eye contact and positive body language can help you build an encouraging rapport with others. You might listen to presentations or talks at work and someone’s face and their expressions give you extra information about how they feel about what they are saying.
At work, you might receive a piece of negative feedback or a complaint. Through effective eye contact and body language, you will help to show that you are taking their feedback seriously. It might also help to rebuild their confidence in the company or organisation.
In our wider lives, it is important to build positive relationships with others. When spending time with friends, family, teammates or any others, we will often need to use the skill of listening. If a friend is sharing a problem or an important story, good eye contact and positive body language will help them to feel comfortable doing this. Equally, understanding what someone’s face, expressions and body language suggest will also help you to effectively support others when they need it.
To best practise this step of Listening, apply what you have learnt to a real-life situation. Choose one or more of the activities below, remind yourself of the key points and strategies in the step, and have a go!
To teach this step:
This is a good step to reinforce regularly in the course of normal teaching:
This step is best assessed through observation in day-to-day learning, although a particular scenario or role-play could also be created. For example, the teacher could create a check-list, based on the reminders above, and assess whether individual learners are demonstrating those. This could be extended to peer assessment too.
This step is relevant to everyone who works with others in the course of their work, whether colleagues, customers or partners.
To build this step in the work environment, managers could:
There are plenty of opportunities for building this skill in the workplace:
An individual could also practice this skill step through volunteering in a role such as supporting a young people during their exams or coaching a nervous performer at work.
For those already employed, this step is best assessed through observation. For instance:
During the recruitment process, this step could be assessed by:
We work with a wide range of organisations, who use the Skills Builder approach in lots of different settings – from youth clubs, to STEM organisations, to careers and employability providers.
We have a lot of materials available to support you to use the Skills Builder Universal Framework with the individuals you work with, including:
We also do a lot of work with organisations who join the Skills Builder Partnership to build the Universal Framework into their work and impact measurement systems. You can find out a lot more using the links below.
As a parent or carer, you might be thinking about how best to support your children to build their essential skills. The good news is that there is lots that you can do that will have a big impact, including:
We’ve developed a whole series of tools and resources to help parents to build these skills, including:
There is also content for older children and young people, including short activities and reflections that they can complete alone, or with you.