Chapter 12. Poor Listening Habits: Identifying and Improving Them

Joseph Seltzer and Leland Howe


  • To help participants to identify their poor listening habits.

  • To allow participants to practice effective listening skills.

Group Size

Any number of pairs.

Time Required

Approximately one and one-half hours.


  • Enough copies of the Poor Listening Habits: ABC Listening Sheet for half the participants.

  • Enough copies of the Poor Listening Habits: NL Sheet for half the participants.

  • One copy of the Poor Listening Habits: Theory Sheet for each participant.

  • One copy of the Poor Listening Habits: Effective Listening Sheet for each participant.

  • A pencil for each participant.

  • A writing surface for each participant.

  • A newsprint flip chart and a felt-tipped marker.

  • Masking tape for posting newsprint.

Physical Setting

A room that is large enough to allow pairs to converse without disturbing one another.


  1. The facilitator explains the goals of the activity and tells the participants they will be involved in several activities that will require them to exaggerate poor listening habits.

  2. The group is divided into pairs.

  3. A copy of the ABC listening sheet and a pencil are distributed to one person in each pair. The participants who do not have the ABC listening sheet are designated "speaker number one" and are instructed to start talking to their partners about any subject they wish. (Five minutes.)

  4. The facilitator stops the conversations and asks how it felt to be the speaker. The facilitator explains that ...

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