Begin this session by exploring the art of asking open-ended questions. Begin by asking a series of yes/no questions:
- Do you feel stressed at school? Do you think Advisory is the best part of the day?
- Is there too much homework at GWC?
- Do you think that your last essay in English was graded fairly?
Ask the Peer Leaders whether the answers led to much dialogue or thought-provoking conversation? Was it interesting or easy to react to? Using open-ended communication, using questions that require more than one word answers, can help. Think about using the words what or how. Think about keeping the conversation going by asking follow-up questions and open-ended responses.
Work as a group to create a list of open-ended questions that could lead to a worthwhile discussion. Some examples might include:
- What five words best describe you?
- How would you describe the culture at GWC? What would you like to change?
- Do you think that Advisory can have an impact on life at GWC?
Ask the group how did that discussion compare to the first round of questions?
Download the Lesson Plan for full activity and discussion questions.
Explore with your Peer Leaders the concept of empathetic listening, sometimes called active listening or reflective listening. By definition, it is a way of listening and responding to another person that improves mutual understanding, trust and respect, and creates an environment of sharing – all key aspects to an effective and functional advisory experience for all.
What is empathy? It’s the ability to project oneself into the personality of another person in order to better understand that person’s emotions or feelings. Through empathic listening the listener lets the speaker know, “I understand your problem and how you feel about it, I am interested in what you are saying and I am not judging you.”