Listen with Compassion in the Classroom

To help promote a sense of belonging, inclusion and stimulate learning, students need to display compassion. The classroom set-up should ideally nurture true connections, but most of the time, this is not the case. On the contrary, students learn in order to gain prestige and power. Such students lack the vital social and emotional skills that promote healthy, helpful relationships and are not aware that their undesirable behavior hinders feelings of belonging. The result is a classroom atmosphere non-conducive to learning. Modeling compassionate listening can produce a safe learning environment, allowing students to interact in a healthy way and get the support needed for growth and development.

Students are in constant need of learning materials, for both their further class reading and to help them do research and assignments. They can get these materials from, a site with plenty of documents for learners at all levels. As students learn from their formal education, they need to learn to give each other space to share their thoughts and experiences. That can only happen if they listen with compassion in class. The following seven principles can help students nurture compassionate listening skills:

Giving undivided attention to others as they speak

Students can learn compassionate listening skills by keeping silent when being spoken to and paying attention to both the verbal and nonverbal elements of communication, such as facial expressions, tone and body language. They will be able to grasp the speaker’s experience as they share it.

Avoiding providing solutions as they listen

Listening requires total concentration without intervention, giving advice or offering solutions. If the listener is busy coming up with a solution, they cannot listen compassionately. Listening is enough of a solution in itself.

Listen without judging

Compassionate listeners aim to understand how those who are talking feel and how their experiences have impacted them. These come out in their genuine concern, motivating the speaker to share their vulnerabilities without fear of being judged. As such, they feel they will be accepted.

Take conflicts positively as part of real-life learning

In a learning environment that allows others to express their feelings openly, some conflicts may arise. When the disputes are resolved, even if it involves some time and effort, better relationships are built. Conflicts also act as a catalyst for positive change.

Pose genuine questions to gain a better understanding

While listening, learners should ask open-ended questions such as: ‘what was the incident like for you?’ ‘how did you feel?’ and other questions that prompt the speaker to open up and share deeply. The listener can also repeat the speaker’s statements or rephrase their sentences if they feel they need to further understand something.

Compassionate listening involves being gentle with yourself too

Being a good listener calls for you to be compassionate with others as well as yourself. The listener must accept their internal feelings without judgement, giving themselves time to learn.

Maintain confidentiality

Compassionate listeners ought to treat other people’s trust and frankness as a great honor, and keep all that is shared with them private .

Young students should learn this crucial skill of compassionate listening to give each other a sense of belonging.