Active listening – Activity 1

Case study: Haldi the asylum seeker

Activity type:
Case Study -Role taking-Experimenting

Learning goals:
This exercise aims to help practitioners paraphrase what is being said to detail so that their client has a chance to hear himself/herself state his/her problems and the feelings associated with these. It also helps practitioners summarize effectively. Having the chance to play both roles and compare, practitioners can see for themselves how active listening can forward their guidance session productively.

Group activity (2 or more persons)

1 hour

Materials needed:
Scenario & Notes for reflection


Read carefully the scenario given and practice active listening techniques according to your trainer’s instructions.

Scenario: Haldi the asylum seeker

“Haldi needs to find a job in the host country to convince local authorities to grant him asylum. He has tried to get a job repeatedly but has failed so far, which is why he’s becoming increasingly desperate. In Despina’s counselling session, he expresses anger, disappointment and lack of trust towards employers who do not want to employ migrants in their businesses. He feels that everyone in the country is hostile and prejudiced against him as a migrant”.

Notes for reflection:

After the active listening part has been completed every pair spends one minute to review how close the practitioner was to what the client said and needed and check which of the following active listening responses they tried and how well they demonstrated them. Then the participants swap roles and repeat. When all participants finish their role- play exercise, they can share what they have achieved through this exercise.

Active listening responses:
  • Building trust and establishing rapport
  • Demonstrating concern
  • Brief verbal affirmation
  • Asking open-ended questions
  • Asking specific questions
  • Paraphrasing
  • Withholding judgment
  • Restating
  • Summarizing
  • Reflecting
  • Giving feedback
  • Supporting
  • Checking perceptions
  • Disclosing similar situations