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Listening skills

It is a common misconception that listening is an easy skill. In fact, actively listening to others, Students studyingthat is listening keenly, not interrupting and showing empathy is not an easy skill. It is however, one that can be practised and developed over time. Tutors who are able to show active listening skills are likely to find that they have rewarding and productive relationships with their tutees.

When a tutee has made a statement it is often helpful to check that we have understood what has been said before we respond. "So you're saying to me that...". 

This can be at a factual level or at an emotional level. We may choose the latter when we wish to check whether the tutee understands what they are feeling: "It sounds as if it's quite frustrating living with your new flatmates" . 

We might usefully get them to explore it: "I'm not sure what you mean when you say...". 

These kinds of responses are the result of very active listening, when all the time we are trying to figure out just what is being conveyed to us. The tutee, when faced with such responses, cannot help but be aware of our reluctance to judge before fully understanding the situation. The tutee is therefore more likely to tell us what is really going on and our eventual inevitable judgement will be a better one.

For further information, please visit the Counselling webpages.

Things to do now

Don't forget that your Senior Tutor is there to support you in your role as Personal Tutor.


It is also worth looking out for relevant staff training and development sessions run by the Centre for Quality Support and Development

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