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Reflective Listening

Reflective Listening

Why should I do it:

  • Helps students to feel they have been heard and understood
  • Improves student buy in and participation
  • Improves student/teacher communication
  • Builds student/teacher rapport
  • Helps students feel validated
  • Makes students more likely to share and discuss things with teachers
  • Gives students positive attention
  • Provides clarification
  • Improves students cooperation and compliance

When should I do it:

  • All the time with all students and parents

How do I do it:

  • Simply stated, reflective listening is when you listen to what someone says and repeat it back to them so they know you heard and understood them
  • The links below will help to further explain, give examples, and ideas for using reflective listening with students, parents, and other teachers

Resources & Support for technique:
(Items with footnotes link to external websites)


  1. Cortright, S., Power To Change Ministries. 10 Tips to Effective & Active Listening Skills. [].
  2. Morris, R. How to Use Reflective Listening Techniques. [].
  3. Lane, L. L. Gale Encyclopedia of Psychology, 2001. Reflective Listening. [].
  4. Wikipedia. (2011). Reflective listening. [].
  5. Fisher, D. Active Listening. [].
  6. Google. Reflective Listening Worksheet (Google Image Search). [].
  7. only-effective-communication-skills. This really is truly the single most important verbal skill that you will ever learn in your whole entire life. [].
  8. Brandon, D. J. University of Tennessee Extension Family & Consumer Sciences. Reflective Listening Formula. [].