Republished with permission from the Whitman College Peer Listener Handbook Note: The handbook is an excellent resource, especially when listening in person, however it does not perfectly mesh with LiveWire's "Peer Answers" philosophy.
As a listener, your responsibility is to help the person find their own solution. You do not give advice or tell them what to do. Use the decision-making model with open questions.
What's the problem?
How do you want this situation to change?
So what's bothering you is...
What have you tried already?
What are you thinking about doing?
Have you ever been in this situation before? What did you do?
What else do you think you could do?
Could anyone else help you with this?
What have others you've talked with suggested?
What do you think would happen if you...
What might keep you from trying...
What would other people say/do if you did that?
What do you see that's good about that idea?
What do you see that's bad about that idea?
That sounds like you think it will work right now. What might happen in the long run if you did that?
On the other hand, ____________________ might also happen.
What do you think feels best?
What do you think you should do?
What are other people telling you to do?
What would you be comfortable trying?
How are you feeling about... ?
Do you want me to go with you to _________________?
Can I help you to do _________________?
When do you think you'll try this?
If it's okay with you, I'd like to check back with you to see how you're doing?
What did not worked?
What can you do differently to make the plan go better?
Remember to used open questions and listening skills throughout the discussion.