Course Profile

Course Profile: Active Listening Skills (1-3 Days)
The key skill required for supporting others is listening! Too often, we as supporters talk too much and don’t adequately listen to what people are saying. This can lead to highly oppressive practice and service users feeling marginalised isolated and frustrated. Poor listening leads to inaccuracies, misunderstandings and impacts on a range of other important issues such as Assessment, Support Planning and Recording.
This introductory course aims to provide awareness of effective active listening skills so that service users feel valued and the service provided becomes more effective and Person Centred.
The course is informed by Person Centred Counselling theory and Egan (helping skills) and supports the Social Care Commitment.
The course provides some knowledge for
NHS: KSF Core 1.2
Care certificate: 5, 6
QCF: SHC 021.1; 021.2; 021.3
MIS (2012): 5, 9.3
The course is designed for Health care and Support Staff working with all service user groups and within all settings. The course would also be valuable for more senior staff to aid their management skills as well as staff working in other disciplines. 
Learning outcomes

By the end of the course learners should understand:

  • What is meant by the term 'active listening' and the difference to 'Counselling' or 'therapy'
  • Why we need to 'listen' to people and what it feels like not to be listened to
  • How this could impact on the person e.g. aggression, depression, withdrawal
  • The short and longer term impact of not being listened to
  • What is meant by 'empowerment' and how listening acts as an empowering agent
  • How listening impacts on other issues e.g. recording, key working, support plans etc
  • The limits of the support workers role and when to refer on to a 'professional listener'
  • The limits of confidentiality
  • Common barriers to effective engagement and how to overcome these barriers
  • The use of non-verbal communication; facial expression and body language
  • How non-verbal signals can be misinterpreted and lead to misunderstandings incl. cultural
  • The use of Paraverbals
  • Effective questioning and how they can get in the way of communication
  • What is meant by the 'Person Centred' model of listening; Carl Rogers and Core Conditions
  • How to use simple reflective listening skills
  • How to demonstrate empathy and respect
  • The use of advanced empathy
  • Problem solving methods; being practical
Training methods utilised include: Presentations, Role-play, Trust exercises, Word-storming, Feedback, Discussion, Tutor presentations, PowerPoint, Group work, Handouts