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3. Listening pairs

This activity should take about 5 minutes

“Let’s start. Turn to the person next to you and wave hello. If you don’t know the person, just quickly swap first names. We are going to take turns to think out loud uninterrupted, and then take a turn listening with a quiet mind and an open heart. You’ll each get a turn, and I am going to time 2 minutes each.”

(Remember to join in if there are odd numbers).

“Decide who is listening first and who is thinking out loud first.”

(ALLOW A PAUSE)

“When time is up, I will raise both my hands like this.”

(Raise both hands high

“so when you see me do this, please do likewise.”

(This is the gentlest and most effective form of crowd control we know!)

“At that point, if you are the thinker, please bring what you are saying to a close. 

“Okay. If you are listening first, use the person’s name to ask the question ‘[NAME] what does caring for yourself mean to you?’ if your partner seems to run out of things to say, don’t worry, simply say ‘and what else?’ 

“Remember your role is to listen, not to interrupt, and not plan what you might say when it’s your turn! Trust the process. 

“So, a reminder: ‘[NAME] what does caring for yourself mean to you?’

“Off you go.”

Time 2 minutes – then raise both hands, wait till everyone stops speaking. 

If people are still talking, say ‘okay thank you everyone, just bring that thought to a close’

“And now we swap over, so if you have had a turn thinking out loud, it’s now your turn to listen to your partner. 

“A reminder, use the person’s name to ask the question ‘[NAME] what does caring for yourself mean to you?’ if your person runs out of things to say, don’t worry, simply ask ‘and what else?’ 

“Remember your role is to listen without interrupting. Trust the process. 

“Off you go.”

Time 2 minutes – then raise both hands, wait till everyone stops speaking. 

If people are still talking, say: ‘Okay thank you everyone, just bring that thought to a close.’

“Thank you.”

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