Basic Attending Skills Summary PD in Korea International School By: Aysem Bray
Attention and consciousness are the foundations on which we create an understanding of the world. Together, they form the ground upon which we build a sense of who we are, as we deﬁne ourselves in relation to the myriad physical and social worlds we inhabit.They are also the basic functions that give rise to “the mind.” — John Ratey, M.D.
INTRODUCTION: THE BASICS OF LISTENING• If you use attending as indicated below, you can make the following predictions Predicted Result: Students talk more freely and respond openly, particularly around topics to which Attending Behavior: Support attention is given. Depending on students with individually and the individual student and culture, culturally appropriate visuals, anticipate fewer eye contact vocal quality, verbal tracking, breaks, a smoother vocal tone, a and body language. more complete story (with fewer topic jumps), and a more comfortable body language.
INTRODUCTION:THE BASICS OF LISTENING (con’t) Attending behavior is essential for human communication, but we need to be prepared for and expect individual and multicultural differences
INSTRUCTIONAL READING:• Attending translates as genuine interest in their story and issues. It is an encouragement!• Therefore, used as discouragement too.• Meanwhile you will have a chance to note and recognize students’ varying styles of attending and • Listen before you leap! interacting.
The Basics of Listening • Visual / Eye Contact3xV+B • Vocal Qualities • Verbal Tracking • Body Language
Visual / Eye Contact If you are going to talk to people, look at them.• Observe cultural diﬀerences in appropriate amounts of eye contact.• Maintain & break eye contact as needed for speciﬁc results. Asian eye contact• Observe student’s pupil dilation.• Choose speciﬁc body language for desired results.
Vocal Qualities Your vocal tone and speech rate indicate clearly how you feel about another person. Think of the many ways you can say “I am really interested in what you have to say” just by altering your speech.• Pitch• Volume• Rate• Emphasis (verbal underlining)• Breaks and hesitations• e-mails lack vocal quality! Watch out!
Verbal TrackingDon’t change the subject; stick with the student’s story. • Identify range of student concerns • Note topic shifts • Guide focus to critical student concerns • Observe your own and student selective attention • Watch out! Self awareness causes speech hesitations.
Body Language Face the students squarely and lean slightly forward, have an expressive face, and use facilitative, encouraging gestures. Be yourself—authenticity in attending is essential.• Maintain culturally appropriate distance.• Note student movements in relation to you if you have no idea about their cultural distance.• Note posture and when posture shifts.• Nose itching deep thoughts
Intentional NonattentionThrough failure to maintain eye contact, subtle shifts in body posture, vocal tone, and deliberate jumps to more positive topics, you can facilitate the interview process.When a student:• Speaks about the same subject over and over.• Gives detailed and repeating descriptions of why ______ is wrong.• Only wants to discuss negative topics.• Observe silence.
Speaking of Silence...• Students can’t talk when you do.• Silence can be the best support. – emotional expression. – thought processes, etc.
USING ATTENDING IN CHALLENGING SITUATIONS• Mary: … Even with all my experience with children, like other professionals, sometimes I am at a loss as to what to do next. After some analysis, I found that if I move back to my foundation in attending skills and focused carefully on visuals, vocals, verbal following, and body language, I could regain contact with even the most troubled child. Similarly, in challenging situations with parents, I have at times found myself returning to a focus on attending behavior, later adding the basic listening sequence and other skills. Conscious attending has helped me many times in involved situations. Attending is not a simple set of skills. I train older students to work as school peer mediators and another group to be peer tutors for younger children. I have found that using the exercise at the beginning of this chapter on poor attending and then contrasting it with good attending works well as an introductory exercise…