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Stories with Strangers

A Community Building Library at Regis University

Best Practices for Listening

Listen Up!

  1. Be present.  Here’s a meditation you can try right before meeting with the book to help clear your mind, center yourself, and be ready to listen: 

  1. Turn off your phone and put away any other devices/screens. 

  1. Make eye contact with your reader and/or adjust your body so it is facing the book. 

  1. Listen with empathy (seek to understand the book’s point of view, beliefs, values even if you don’t share those). 

  1. Be patient (let the book tell their story before asking questions). 

  1. When it is time to ask questions, ask open-ended questions. (How would you...What did you learn...Can you tell me about...) 



Reader Reflection Questions

Reflect and Respond

  1. What was one aspect of the story you listened to that was most interesting? Explain what that was and why it was especially interesting to you.

  1. As you listened to the story what feelings did you experience?  Describe those feelings as you are able/willing. 

  1. Was it easy or difficult to be present and listen with empathy?  What was easy? What was difficult? 

  1. What were some similarities between you and the person sharing their story?  

  1. What were some differences between you and the person sharing their story? 

  1. What one thing did you learn from the story you heard that came as a surprise to you? 

  1. Can you imagine being a book and telling your story to strangers? What story would you tell? What is the title of your book? 

Readings for Readers

Additional Reader Resources

You may have heard a story that has impacted you in an unexpected or upsetting way.  Here are some resources available at Regis University if you need help: 

Office of Counseling and Personal Development: 303.458.3507 |

Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusive Excellence: 303.964.5301 |

Student Disability Services and University Testing:

Victims Advocacy and Violence Prevention:

Equal Opportunity and Title IX Coordinator, Kassandra Alberico:  303.964.6435 |