‘SHUSH’ is an acronym used by volunteers at the listening charity, Samaritans, to remind themselves of the key qualities involved in listening to people they support on the phone properly. The Samaritans are well known for their great listening abilities and understanding ‘SHUSH’ can help us learn from what they do really well. The aim of this training activity is for the participants to be able to describe and understand what ‘SHUSH’ stands for.


By the end of this session, participants will understand what ‘SHUSH’ stands for and be able to describe what it means.


What is ‘SHUSH’?

To answer this question, you will give the participants a very brief description of ‘SHUSH’ and get them to do a reading activity. They will read information about ‘SHUSH’ and reflect on it and you will discuss what they read afterward.

Display the slide titled – WHAT IS ‘SHUSH’?

Tell them that:

  • ‘SHUSH’ is an acronym that describes five effective listening behaviors.
  • Volunteers at the charity, Samaritans, use it to remind themselves to listen properly to people.
  • You can see what ‘SHUSH’ stands for on the screen.

Allow them to read the information on the screen and after 2-minutes let them know that they are going to do some more reading about ‘SHUSH’ and reflect on what they read.

Direct them to the section in their workbooks titled – LISTENING WITH ‘SHUSH’.

Workbook content – Listening with ‘SHUSH’

Each person should read the information in the section and do the accompanying activity. Give them 10-minutes to do that.

When the time is up, stop them and get their attention. Review the activity they did by telling each person to type a summary of their understanding of ‘SHUSH’ in the chat window.

Allow a maximum of 5-minutes for the chat activity and encourage everyone to participate. As they are writing their answers, read through them quietly so you don’t distract them.

After they’ve finished, thank them and read out all their answers. Make sure you appreciate and acknowledge each person after you’ve read their answer.

This is the end of the session.

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