Welcome to „Listening-Skills“

Welcome to Educational Path for Emotional well-being

We value everyone’s right to be heard and to receive emotional support at their time of need and we believe that listening is a key competence to provide emotional well being in private and business situations.

This website presents a project from organizations related to the field of emotional support and crisis intervention in collaboration with research institutes from four different countries.

The aim of this project was to lift the treasure of listening skills in the field of listening centres in Europe, to put together best practice experiences under scientific criteria and to set up a 120 hours training to educate the basic competences in listening for everyone. The effectiveness of the training has been measured using scientific based assessments.

European Union Erasmus Plus Logo
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Did you ever talk to a friend about a problem just to realize that he or she is unable to grasp why the issue is that important to you?


The project includes the mapping of 92 organisations that provide emotional support in Europe, particularly in the 4 countries where partners are seated.


The training includes a 30 hours theoretical blended-learning module following a 40 hours face-to-face group education.


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Have you ever talked to a friend about a problem only to realize that they are unable to grasp why the issue is so important to you?


Have you ever presented an idea to a group and left everyone confused? Or maybe someone suddenly accuses you of not listening to their needs at all? What is going on in these situations?

The answer is: Miscommunication – and we have all experienced this in one form or another. It can lead to confusion, misunderstanding, animosity and even a breakdown in relationships.

Being a good listener is one of the most important and amazing life skills that anyone can achieve. Yet not many of us know how to do it because nobody has taught us and even fewer have had the experience of really being listened to. Like most things it’s about education.

Although there are hundreds of  great books about communication and debate, it’s difficult to find one called “The Listener”. There are many skills and abilities that are crucial to being a good listener and important for having all kinds of conversations.

Luckily there are some basic practices than can help everyone navigate in our daily interactions to ensure better communication.

It’s all about mastering emotions, juggling values, mirroring needs, respecting maps of reality, arranging information and asking good questions.

These skills and abilities will be explored and presented in this project.


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The project includes the mapping of 92 organisations that provide emotional support in Europe, particularly in the 4 project partner’s countries.

Two surveys were made: one on existing training opportunities in the field of emotional health and one on the most important skills for a listener (572 people from organisations providing emotional support all over Europe took part in this survey).

The results of the surveys were used to define listener’s profile and to start building a training programme aimed at developing relevant skills.The outcome consists in a course of 30 hours self-learning, 40 hours class training and up to 50 hours of  advanced training in the field.

The course was developed by the partners rather like a toolbox containing training activities and exercises, related multimedia, theoretical material and guidelines to monitor and improve learning in the respective fields.

For accreditation in the field of emotional health and listening a manual will be compiled of the complete course along with the identification of  necessary skills and abilities.


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The course includes a 30 hours theoretical blended-learning module following a 40 hours face-to-face group education.

There will be a followup phase to further the theoretical understanding and the transfer of skills.

The training deals with the most important principles of the listening process, together with the interactive factors involved. Six features for good listening were identified as profile characteristics.

Core beliefs:

  • Good listening involves constant switching between following and leading (Milton Erickson)
  • A good listener paraphrases without evaluating or judging (Carl Rogers)
  • A good listener recognizes, differentiates and identifies the perceptions, emotions and assessments of the other person (F. Schulz von   Thun)
  • By asking useful questions a good listener enables the other person to better understand the subject. (Watzlawick et al.)
  • A good listener manages the process without manipulating it. (NLP)

Interactive factors

  • Internal orientation (being with yourself)
  • External orientation (being with your counterpart)
  • Active behavior (while talking)
  • Passive behavior (while listening)

Listening will not be fully successful if one of these four interactive factors is out of balance. For good listening all four fields need to be activated and in balance.



blended learning


practical training


deepening and transfer

different skills

competence in listening

Scientific background

Surveys – Measurerment – Curriculum

What is the profile of a listener?

Within the Empowering project, we are developing a training for listening skills in the field of emotional well-being and crisis intervention, with a focus on volunteers within Telephone Emergency Services and professionals in the field of health-care.

Before developing the training, we wanted to learn from both volunteers and professionals in different settings what they consider as important elements of a good listener. Therefore, we have developed this questionnaire to construct the profile of a good listener and establish training needs to improve listening skills. Beside you can see the most important profile items we found.

The result of the survey has been used for the development of the training on listening skills. To aim the effectiveness of the training it will be measured by an assessment before and after the training.  That information will be used to optimize the training.

At the end a curriculum will be done describing the analysis of the learning outcomes in  knowledge, skills and competences.

Emotional Stability0%
Resource Activation0%
Active Listening0%
Leading Conversation0%


Coordinating partners:

IFOTES Europe – Germany

Studio Rucli – Italy

Scientific Partners:

Nederlands Instituut Voor Onderzoek van de Gezondheitdszorg
(NIVEL) – Netherland

Scuola Nazionale Servizi Foundation – Italy

Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg  (UHEI) – Germany

Végeken Alapítvány – Hungary

Helpline Partners:

Telefono Amico Italia (national federation)

LESZ, Hungary (national federation)

Kath. TS Munich (local TES post)

Sensoor Rotterdam (local TES post)


IFOTES Europe e.V.
Stefan Schumacher

call: +49 2331 17773
Dödterstraße 10
DE 58095 Hagen

If you want to use or support listening skills, or train and certify learners in listening skills, you can become a member of our network by signing the Memorandum of Understanding.