Active listening – Activity 3

Role playing using questions, reflection and paraphrase

Activity type:
Role playing

Learning goals:
This exercise aims to help practitioners use clarifying and open-ended questions in career counselling with the help of real case studies. Participants experience first-hand what impact the above have in the counselling process and spot the difficulties. They also learn to reflect and paraphrase effectively because they get feedback by fellow consultants on the spot.

Group activity (work in pairs)

45 minutes

Material needed:
4 statements available on the platform/ pdf


You will be given 4 statements that clients have made in real –life incidents. Read them and then work in pairs. One person will be the practitioner and the other one the client in 2 statements and then change roles for the other 2 statements.
In each case, as a practitioner you should:

a. make a successful clarification question for each statement

b. make two open-ended questions that would encourage your client open-up and give information. Role –play the dialogue.

c. Activate your reflective listening: use reflection and paraphrase taking into consideration the content as well as the feelings expressed in your client words.


1: I am stuck with my studies. I am going out with my friends every day. I also miss classes on purpose.

2: I am angry with my mum. She does not accept me. She never comments on my progress, my grades not even when I won a medal. But she always praises my little brother!

3: I have a passion for volleyball and I am good at foreign languages but I don’t want languages as a career path unlike my parents.

4: I don’t want to do anything. I don’t care about the future. There’s nothing that I like

Questions for reflection:

After the end of the role playing share your experience referring to the following:

  • Have you encountered any difficulties in the role- play situations and what these were (as a practitioner and client as well)?
  • Is there anything you could have done better if you had the chance or any other techniques/responses you could use?
  • What are your feelings over the process?