The listening game

To teach listening one school instituted this practice: One hour, every other day, students engage in a discussion of personal and social issues about which they feel strongly.

One unusual rule is observed: Before a person has his say, he must restate the gist of the previous speaker's words to his satisfaction. This rule is not as simple as it sounds. It is the heart of congruent communication. It requires each speaker to focus on another's words and feelings, to enter his frame of mind and to understand his point of view. Strange changes occur in the children and their teachers as they go through this procedure: They talk less, listen more, and gain in empathetic understanding.

—Haim Ginott

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Jesse McCarthy