Active listening – Activity 8

Misleading practitioner

Activity type:
Role playing

Learning goals:
This exercise aims to bring to the surface common mistakes a practitioner can make while listening to the life story of his/her client in a session. It also shows how these mistakes affect the attitude of the client, his/her feelings and the relationship between practitioner and client on the whole.

Group activity (at least 3 persons- one will be the practitioner and the other the client and 1 facilitator)

40 minutes

Useful notes for the trainer

This is a role play activity, where you have to guide the participants to perform according to the script. You should guide the conversation between the client and the practitioner as the following script:

  • The client thinks of a career related problem. He/she should try to be as concrete as he/she can in what he/she will narrate. He/she starts narrating her/his story, also describing the feelings.-The practitioner interrupts and asks a question.
  • The client continues narrating.
  • The practitioner suddenly changes the topic of the discussion
  • The client tries to redirect the conversation to what preoccupies him
  • The practitioner seems distracted by something else: his watch, his papers, something that is going on
  • The client continues talking and expresses his feeling about his/her problem
  • The practitioner interrupts him and finishes off his/her sentence.
  • The client, puzzled, tries to go on with his story.
Questions for reflection:
  • For those in the role of practitioners: How should the client feel?
  • For those in the role of client: Express how you felt about the attitude of the practitioner and whether you were able to express yourself