Active listening in nurseries

Active listening in nurseries

Posted on Jun 04, 2016

Active listening in nurseries



Listening skills

Active listening is called just that, because you are actively showing someone that you are listening to them.

We are not born with active listening skills, these are skills that can be developed and it takes practice and patience to finely tune these abilities.

There are a number of techniques you can practice and deploy in order to improve yourself as an active listener. See the points below to get you started.


A,B,C D of active listening in nurseries

ABCD of active listeningInfographic


A is for…. 

Allow plenty of time – never rush a conversation, you might miss the point of it. Allow the speaker plenty of time to find their voice and choose their words carefully.

Ask (open and closed) questions – asking open and closed questions is the best way to clarify you’ve heard the person correctly, and also get some more information if you need to.

Appropriate response – be open and honest in your response and express your opinions respectfully.


B is for…

Be quiet – keeping quiet whilst the speaker is talking to you confirms you are listening to what’s being said – and also, is great manners.

Be attentive, but relaxed – use your body language to show you are listening, sit up straight and focus on each word. Avoid being distracted by environmental factors (for example, side conversations).

Be compassionate – be empathetic to the speaker and respond to what they are saying accordingly.


C is for…

Clarify – ask for clarification if you are unsure of what was said.

Concentrate on each word – listen carefully to each word the speaker is saying.

Conveying and responding to verbal and non-verbal prompts – keep eye contact, smile, nod your head and use your body language to confirm you’ve heard what was said. You can even throw the speaker a cheeky thumbs up!


D is for…

Don’t interrupt – listen to what the speaker is saying to you and don’t interrupt or talk over them.

Don’t assume what people are saying (or going to say next) – never assume what people are saying – you might miss the point they are trying to convey.

Dos and Don’ts – listen to what people do say vs. what they don’t – sometimes you can learn a lot from what’s not being said in a conversation.



Be aware that active listening can sometimes give others the impression that you agree with them even if you don’t – so do be mindful of this. It’s also important to avoid using active listening as a checklist of actions to follow, rather than really listening.

flick’s very own listening skills course is suitable for anyone wanting to enhance their communication skills – and like all our courses, it’s included in the flick subscription.

Think you might need a bit more help to remember all that? Then why not download flick's free listening skills poster for your nursery? Click the link below today.

Happy Listening, from flick.


listening skills poster


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