‘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 practice using ‘SHUSH’ in small groups. Two previous activities would have helped the participants understand what ‘SHUSH’ is (access that activity here) and see what ‘SHUSH’ looks like in practice (access that activity here).


After going through this activity participants would have experienced how to use ‘SHUSH’ skills in practice.


How can you listen effectively with ‘SHUSH’?

Tell them that:

  • We’ve explored the effective listening skills defined by the ‘SHUSH’ acronym.
  • We have seen how to use some of the ‘SHUSH’ skills.
  • Now, it’s time for you to have a go at practicing the ‘SHUSH’ skills in small groups.

Direct them to the part of their workbooks titled – TIME FOR YOU TO LISTEN THE ‘SHUSH’ WAY.

Give them 5-minutes to read the information there and after they have finished reading, check that they understand what to do. If necessary, explain what they need to do again so they understand.

Put them into small groups of threes using the ‘breakout’ rooms feature.

Give them 30-minutes to do the practice activity.

During the practice time, join each breakout room to see how they are doing. Give them guidance and encouragement if necessary to make sure they do the practice.

When the time is up, stop them and bring everyone back to the main room. To review the practice activity, ask them these questions:

  • How did the practice session go? (You should get an answer from at least one person in each group)
  • What lessons did you learn from the practice? (You should get an answer from at least one person in each group)
  • Ask them for any other comments they want to make about the practice session and listen to them.

After that, thank them for doing the activity.

This is the end of the activity.

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