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Mindful Listening and Speaking

Find someone with whom you’d like to practice better speaking/listening skills; this could be a spouse, friend, family member or anyone else.  Set aside 15 minutes for this practice and remove all cell phones (or just use airplane mode), computers or anything else that could be a distraction. Flip a coin to see who speaks first.

  1. Set a timer for 5 minutes. Person A speaks while Person B listens.  Person A practices the principles of mindful speech and shares something that happened from his/her day (something positive, negative, neutral or some new awareness or use of character strengths. Person B practices mindful listening.
  2. Switch roles.  Set another timer for 5 minutes and now Person B is the speaker and Person A listens.
  3. Open-ended practice of mindful communication.  Both Person A and Person B can speak, but take turns; this segment more closely simulates typical real-world conversations but carries forward the practices from the previous steps.
  4. If desired by both parties, repeat the steps above or conclude for the day.
  5. Notice what felt different when you were speaking, listening and actively participating in a standard conversation.