Actively listening to your tutees is more than just hearing what they have to say – by actively listening, you show your tutee that you are interested in what they have to say and that you care about them as an individual.
Consider whether you adopt the following active listening strategies in a one-to-one meeting:
- You have turned off the ‘phone, blanked your computer screen and put a ‘do not disturb’ sign on the door;
- You have arranged the chairs so that you can sit facing your tutee without a desk in the way;
- You make eye contact with your tutee (but are not staring);
- You allow time for your tutee to speak – and do not ‘jump in’ to fill the silence;
- You nod as your tutee is speaking and prompt with ‘um’, ‘oh’ and open questions;
- You avoid taking extensive notes, or using a computer. You jot down brief notes on paper;
- When your tutee has finished speaking, you paraphrase what has been said to show you have heard and understood, using your brief notes as an aid.