Panorama Community Schools

Listening Skills

Listening Skills are encouraged and taught in many career fields, these three career area shares are not part of the lesson plan, but are here for students who want more...
  1. Business & Service Professionals
    1. Article on hospitality management needs listening skills with customers
    2. Article on effective leaders are usually skilled listeners
  2. Educators
    1. Seseme Street TV show, video on listening for directions -
  3. Mental Health Practitioners
    1. Article on "micro-counseling" listening techniques to build relationships to better help their clients
Lesson Plan for Person-to-Person Listening: awareness and practice
[Classroom with ability to view internet videos  - divide class up to review above listening skills artifacts, then have groups share and compare their findings]
[1 minute: read through this outlined activity before actually doing it, 10 min to Watch 2 videos, 10 min Post Video Activity in Groups of 3, 1 min Adviser Processing}
  • 1.  -Class predict examples of poor AND good listening skills the first short video is likely to show -
    • Start by brainstorming on behaviors we use to be either a good or poor listener. ALSO, during video - notice what effect the listening strategies have on the person attempting to be heard.  
    • Watch 1st Video to see if any of the brainstormed behaviors were good predictions for what is in video, "I'm Listening, Wait. What did you say?"; 1:21 min) -
  • 2. -Read over the red bullet outline (below or handout) of notes provided below for the 2nd video (Ted Talk, "5 Ways to Listen Better", by Julian Treasure) 
    • Background on video presenter, Julian Treasure - chairman for 12 plus years of The Sound Agency (, a business consulting group with varied customers ranging from Nokia to the Waldorf Astoria, studied Economics at Cambridge University, various business awards and is a featured lecturer on "branding" marketing techniques.
Julian Treasure "5 Ways to Listen Better" notes: 
  • 60% of our time is listening, but we only retain 25% of what we hear
  • Listening is making meaning of sound using these techniques; 
    1. Pattern Recognition - 
    2. Differencing - 
    3. Filters  -
      1. Intention -
  • Sounds can help us know what place we are in and be aware of the passing of time.
  • Personal Broadcasting is replacing conversation - 
  • World without conscious listening, is a scary world - 
  • 5 Strategies that can be practiced to be a better listener - 
    1. Silence - 
    2. "Mixer' - 
    3. Savoring/enjoying  -
    4. Move listening positions, or trying on different listening filters - 
    5. RASA - Receive, Appreciate, Summarize, Ask - 
  • Schools need to teach listening skills - 
1 Sentence: SUMMARIZE the Julian Treasure talk on ways to listen better - 
  • 3. - Watch the 2nd Video; 7:50 min TedTalk video, 5 Ways to Listen Better, (, by Julian Treasure, THEN Practice RASA:
    • Watch video with complete focus as you allow yourself to RECEIVE the video content.
    • Write Details & Additions to the above outline in the white space of the paper = these are NOTATIONS OF YOUR APPRECIATION
      • When you notice a detail or have a additional thought spurred by the video, ask the teacher to pause the video to allow you to write it down instead of writing while the video is playing. The teacher can observe hands going up as a sign to pause video to allow time for writing and alternately heads back up to screen as sign for teacher to again play the video.  
    • Circle your written comments you see connecting to tendencies in your life
    • Reflect and Write 1 sentence SUMMARIZING the importance of listening that was not typed in the outline
  • 4. - Practice RASA:
a) Break class into groups of 3 people for each person to take 1 of these 3 roles: 
SPEAKER - person who shares their additions to the outline
LISTENER - person who uses best listening skills they can for the purpose of encouraging the speaker to think deeply about their thoughts related to listening.
OBSERVER - person who pays attention to the relationship between the Speaker & Listener, for the purpose of being ASKED a concluding question by the LISTENER to this exercise.
(After the SPEAKER has finished sharing to the LISTENER, then the LISTENER will ASK a question about the exercise to the OBSERVER).
  • Adviser asks for sharing from all students and encourages discussion on students' valued perspectives...
    • Ask of the students who were Observers, "What did the listener do well to help the speaker get their ideas out?" (Adviser to share their observations too.)
    • "Students, do you agree or disagree that humans have become poorer listeners like Mr. Treasure suggests?"
    • "Students, do we have concern about our school, or society, or world becoming more violent?"
    • "Could improving our listening skills help our relationships?"
    • "Could listening skills help the sub-communities we have in our lives - family, co-workers, teammates, classmates?"