Team Workshop

Active Listening

Improve communication by listening
35-45 minutes
5-15 people
Remote & on-site


Active listening is an invaluable communication skill and equally benefits the listener as well as the sender of a message. People rarely attentively listen to each other when interacting because we easily get distracted or think about what to say next.

Passive listening would be listening without reacting, i.e. letting someone speak without interrupting.

However, active listening is much more than that. This workshop illustrates the importance of active listening and enhances your listening skills.

Team workshop instructions


  • If you conduct the workshop remotely, you will need two different chatrooms and everyone has to be visible for the others.

Check-In (5 minutes)

  • Welcome the team and introduce the workshop
  • Don’t explain active listening and its importance just yet. Just tell the team that this workshop is about listening to each other.

Overview: Team members experience how it feels to have people acitvely or passively listen to their stories.

Goal: Becoming aware of the value of active listenig.

Step 1 (10 minutes)

  • Divide the team into two groups. Send one group into another room and instruct them to come up with a story that they can tell in 5-6 minutes.
  • When the first group has left, tell the second group what to do when they’re listening to the story. Instruct them to listen actively during the first half of the story, and to seem uninterested during the second half.

Remember that active listening includes responses which demonstrate that you understand what the other person is saying. When people reflect about what has been said, these responses usually happen automatically. For example, when listening to the story, they should look at the storyteller and make an effort to seem interested. When they stop listening, they don’t have to understand the story at all and should instead look at something else in the room, tie their shoes etc..

Step 2 (6 minutes)

  • Bring the first group back into the room and let them tell their story.

Step 3 (10 minutes)

  • Afterwards, ask the second group how they felt while telling their story and how good and engaging they think their story was.
  • Also ask them, if they noticed anything about their audience while they told the story.

Ending (10 minutes)

  • Explain the task of the audience group to the other one.
  • Discuss the importance of active listening together and how to do that.

Even when the storytelling team didn’t notice their audience’s behavior, they probably felt better during the first half of their story. Maybe they thought that their story was less exciting towards the end. You can also ask the audience how they felt during the first and second half of the story.

First Aid ⛑🩹

Didn’t go as expected? Check out the following tips.

  • People can’t come up with a story to tell the other group

    They should try to talk about a memory of their favorite birthday as a child or interesting story from a vacation.

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