Developmental planning worksheet Essay

Developmental planning worksheet


To become a better effective listener


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What will be different?  What could someone else observe that will change?

In listening to others, I will not be thinking of the issues that I myself want to raise after the other person is finished talking.  My suitemates will see that I wait patiently for them to finish their thoughts and that I respond effectively to the questions they ask me.  I will interrupt less and blurt out answers less during my conversations.  I also want to be able to

What will I gain by achieving the goal?  What is in it for you?

I want to be seen as someone that people can confide in, that won’t express judgment and that is a caring shoulder to lean on.  I want people to think that I can effectively listen to their situations, put aside my own judgments and in turn display a humble spirit.  I want to invest in people’s feelings so that when it comes time that I may have a difficult situation to relate, I will have ample close friends with whom I can confide in.


(use at least three of the six to make your goal SMART)

1) Seek New Challenges/Projects

I will make it a point to ask those most close to me on a more regular basis next semester about things that might be bothering them.  I don’t want to continuously probe into my suitemates lives, but I do want to be more proactive in offering myself as someone who has the time and motivation to really listen

Specific Action/Time/Deadline

All semester long, starting January 25, 2010 with suitemates.

After spring break, March 20, 2010,  I will attempt to do it with several different people who I have regular contact with but do not consist of my suitemates.

2) Take Courses and Workshops

I will enroll in the EARS (Empathy, Assistance and Referral System) Training Program for the spring semester of 2010

Specific Action/Time/Deadline

Registration begins on the week of January 25th.  Meetings are held weekly on Mondays from 7-9:30 p.m.  10 out of 12 sessions must be completed in order to receive a certification of participation.

In participating in this training all semester, I will continuously be given hypothetical situations where I have to employ good listening skills and will receive feedback on my skills.  This routine will thus make it easy for me to continuously practive these skills.  There will be accountability for improving these skills which is also beneficial for me in carrying out this action plan.

3) Develop Ongoing Feedback
Name(s)/Strategy for Identifying People




Specific Action/Time/Deadline

I will first introduce to them my plan of action to become a more effective listener.

Then I will meet with them on a bi-weekly basis in the spring semester of 2010.  Meetings will take place with a morning coffee, lunch or dinner over which I will receive feedback on what I have done to improve my effective listening skills and what else I can do to improve such skills.


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4) Identify Role Models and Coaches
Name(s)/Strategy for Identifying People

Maurice Haltom



Specific Action/Time/Deadline

January 25, 2010

Law School CAPS Counselor—In speaking with Maurice on few occasions, he has helped me work through certain law school anxieties and problems.  He listened extremely well to the things that were bothering me and I would most like to emulate his listening skills.  I would like to form a mentor/mentee relationship in which he helps me develop such skills as listening and empathy—I am sure that his counselor experience will be a great resource to me.

January 25, 2010

She is the one suitemate who listens the most.  I would like to observe how well she does these things, and because we all respect and confide in her, I esteem that my listening skills will grow and be likened to her own.  I will ask her for guidance in how to be a better listener and how is it that she employs such great listening skills.

January 25, 2010

Since ********* is a close friend of mine who has listened intently to many of the problems that have plagued my first and second year of law school, I will try to model his behavior in being a good listener and in giving good advice.  I will ask him about his ability to listen well to others, and take tips and advice about how to be a better listener.

5) Development Reading




Specific Action/Time/Deadline

To be read by Spring Break, Week of March 2010:

Goulston, Mark (2009) Just Listen

Listening First Aid by Gregorio Billikopf

To be read by the end of the semester, May 25, 2010:

Nichols, M. P. (1995). The Lost Art of Listening: How Learning to Listen Can Improve Relationships. New York: The Guilford Press.

6) Other Learning Tactics

In having conversations with others, I will employ certain statements that will affirm to me and express to them how well I am listening.  I will begin using these statements first before wanting to offer advice or my assessment of the situation.

Specific Action/Time/Deadline

“I take it this is your position on this topic”

“I understand you feel ___ way about this circumstance”

What will I give up?

Being anxious and preoccupied with my own opinions and my desire to introduce them into every topic and circumstance.  I will also be less erratic in changing subjects or topics at a whim, which I have noticed is something I do repeatedly.

What are obstacles and how will I manage them?

Investing time in such a process is one obstacle I foresee for next semester.  I will make daily lists, and organization charts that will direct me to the people I need to practice my skills with and with whom I have upcoming feedback meetings.