Trio Listening

Trio listening is an activity that can be used in many environments. It gives equal airtime to introverts and extroverts, it releases listeners from the burden to respond, and lets all speakers be fully heard.

Ideal Time

40 minutes; 5-7 minutes per person in the trio, 2-3 minutes between each speaker and a 5 minute debrief.

Resources Needed

  • (Highly encouraged) instructional slide
  • Chairs, closely set in groups of three facing each other
  • Post-its
  • Sharpie

Instructions

  • Put people in groups of three, they should move their chairs to form little groups.
    • You could count them off, or
    • Request they find others they have not yet talked with
  • Explain the three roles
    • Talker: Think about the prompt. Do not stop talking for the full amount of time. The goal is to talk in a stream of consciousness around the topic area. If you run out of things to say, just wait until your mind comes up with something else.
    • Listener: Listen generously. Do not interrupt. Just look and listen. The goal for the listeners is to not talk, and just to listen to what is said.
    • Scribe: Write “How might we…?” questions on Post-its. (Facilitator note: a great compliment to this activity is having the scribe capture more “how to” or “how might” questions. As you listen to the speaker, write on a post-it note any open-ended questions that are communicated by the speaker or come up for you as a result of what the speaker is saying.)
  • Each person will rotate through all of the roles, but have them select what role they will begin with.Scribe: Write “How might we…?” questions on Post-its. (Facilitator note: a great compliment to this activity is having the scribe capture more H2 or HMW questions.  As you listen to the speaker, write on a post-it note any open-ended questions that are communicated by the speaker or come up for you as a result of what the speaker is saying.)
    1. Each person will rotate through all of the roles, but have them select what role they will begin with.
  • Prompts:
    1. You can use this activity around the topic of the event, and just ask for reflections on the subject area from each participant.
    2. Or, if you are using it after a speaker, as we usually do, a prompt could be, “What was the most interesting thing you heard the speaker say? What is your reaction to the speaker? What do you think was most important? What inspired you? What surprised you or disturbed you? Tell your listener about it.
  • Set the timer and begin
  • After the allotted time, switch roles and start again
  • Repeat for final role
  • Debrief activity – Ask the participants to share a little about their experience, not the content of what they heard but their reaction to talking uninterrupted and listening without responding.
  • Possible questions:
    1. What was it like to talk for so long with no interruptions?
    2. What was it like to listen for so long and not be able to ask questions?
    3. Scribes, what was it like to try to capture data?

Last updated bydonnalynroxey