CHOICES/Toastmasters Workshop to Help Counsellors With Listening Skills

Counsellors need great listening skills to perform their job effectively. These skills are even more important in this new era of technology and virtual counselling.

CHOICES has been offered a great opportunity by Toastmasters International (TI) which we are sharing with counsellors. It is a workshop on the subject “How to Listen Effectively”.  This will be a Zoom session which promises to be a great learning experience leading to a certificate of participation.

The workshop will offer nine valuable techniques for improving your listening skills and is designed to help participants:

  1. To develop skills in active listening
  2. To gain awareness of how to eliminate hasty judgments when listening
  3. To provide experience in learning how to ignore distractions
  4. To practice listening to understand
  5. To become aware of your mental time when you are listening
  6. To promote listening readiness
  7. To study barriers to effective listening


The best way to understand people is to listen to what they are saying. Good listening skills help us understand the other person’s point of view. This, in turn, helps us to make better decisions.

Studies show that almost all of us listen at only about 25 percent efficiency level. That means we don’t retain three-fourths of what’s said to us.

Just because you may not be talking when someone else is speaking doesn’t mean you are listen­ing to what the speaker is saying. You may be thinking about what you’re going to have for dinner, or perhaps your own witty response, or maybe you’re totally tuned out. If this is so, you need to work on your listening skills.

Dr. Ralph Nichols, who pioneered the study of listening, says that bad listening is the true cause of personality clashes, poor morale, bad communications, production breakdowns and misguided management.


Modern research tells us that, without training, most of us are poor listeners. Research also shows that listening can be improved as easily as any other skill. It’s a learned behaviour. With proper instruction and practice you can learn to listen just like you learned to read.


Sauna Maragh has a Masters degree in Instructional Technology with a specialization in Human Resource Management.  She is a former teacher in Jamaica and also spent many years teaching in Japan.

She is a Toastmaster with advanced leadership and communication skills.

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