Taken from the book, "Fighting for your Marriage", this Speaker Listener Technique is utilized by many military installations that sponsor Marriage Retreats and Couples Groups It is often distributed to attendants on printed magnets, and encouraged for them to practice. The technique is:
Rules for the Speaker:
* speak for yourself, don't mind read.
* Keep statements brief. Don't go on and on.
* Stop to let the listener paraphrase.
Rules for the Listener:
* Paraphrase what you hear.
* Focus on the speaker's message. Don't Rebut.
Rules for Both:
* The speaker has the floor.
* Speaker keeps the floor while the listener paraphrases.
* Share the floor.
My suggestion for practicing this in an exercise format would be choose a topic, preferably non inflammatory and positive focused, like ideas for a date night or next vacation. Utilize the rules of active listening and the technique above and plan something using empathy and understanding! Practice using different topics and experience how good listening can produce great results.