The Listening Tool

  •  The Listening Tool

    The Listening Tool 

    “I listen with my ears, eyes, and heart 

    The Listening Tool highlights the importance of accurately reading signals and words of others, and paying attention to the information that they are giving us, both verbal and non-verbal.  We listen “with our ears, our eyes, and our hearts.”  With eyes on the speaker, body language may help us pick up what is unspoken.  Remembering to use our heart allows us to notice what the other person is feeling and to understand what we would feel if we stood in someone else’s shoes, leading us to empathy. 

    Listening actively means that we are committed to really understanding what our child is trying to communicate – beneath the presenting words, tone of voice, volume, or behavior.  Listening with one’s heart is the key to strong relationships and conflict resolution. 

    Here is how the Listening Tool works:   

    Emulate a carpenter tapping on a wall and listening for the location of the stud behind the wall.  With two fingers, gently tap near your ear reminding yourself to “listen into” what is being said.   


    Here are some suggestions for bringing the Listening Tool home:  

    • Remind family members to listen with their ears, eyes, and heart. 
    • Discuss as a family what it means to listen with each of these parts.  
    • Work with your children to name the feelings beneath what they are saying, and to identify feelings by listening with their heart.  We can say, “I see that you are angry, are you also feeling hurt?” 

    You are the most important teacher in your child’s life, and we invite you to help them make this practice a regular part of their lives.  You may find along the way that it is a skill that they can help you learn, too.   


The Listening Tool