Listening with intent: How to connect, inspire and motivate.

“Are you listening?”

Every parent has asked this question of their children, probably many times. You know the feeling…you’re imparting valuable lessons and your child is not making eye contact, fidgeting, doodling or engaging in some other activity totally unrelated to actually listening.

You’re not alone. This is what we refer to as passive listening. Passive listening is characterized by only light attention being paid to whomever is speaking. Passive listeners may appear to be listening, but in reality, they are not attempting to understand or critically assess the information that is being conveyed.

That’s why we make listening with intent, or active listening, such a key component of our teaching and indeed all aspects of our engagement with each Millie. 

Over the many years of working exclusively with girls and young women we have recognized that when girls view themselves as active participants in their own individualized education, they become much more engaged in their learning. Millies recognize that they are in a safe environment where they are encouraged to ask questions, challenge thinking, take risks, and seek help when they don’t understand a concept.

In very simple terms, listening with intent is a critical component of understanding. As Stephen Covey, educator and author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, points out, we tend to listen with the intent to reply rather than to understand and in doing so we lose the opportunity to connect, inspire and motivate. 

We often hear comments about how self-assured, confident and expressive our Millies are. At SMLS, we strive to create a learning environment that fosters engagement and understanding, where our students and their teachers take the time to actively listen to each other. 

It’s one more way SMLS helps inspire girls to become empowered women. 

St. Mildred’s-Lightbourn School

1080 Linbrook Road, Oakville, ON L6J 2L1

T: 905-845-2386 | F: 905-845-4799

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Discover how your daughter will benefit from SMLS's superior academic program, our attention to each girl's social, emotional and physical wellbeing, and student leadership development - all designed for girls.