You Bet I’m Listening: ARISE’s Program to Help Youth

How often do you feel as if you are truly being listened to? With the invention of cell phones and the Internet, sitting in front of another person and engaging in meaningful dialogue is becoming an extinct art form.  85% of what we know, we learn from listening—yet we spend only 45% of our time listening, and we only remember 20% of what we hear. Most of the incarcerated teens in the juvenile justice system simply want someone to listen to them. But needing to be listened to without judgment is something everyone on this planet needs.

Did you know that less than 2% of us have ever had formal education on how to listen? ARISE is out to change that. Inspired by a program called “The Listening Post,” created by Dr. Mabel Barth of Denver, Colorado, ARISE set out to create a program to teach people, especially those that work with at-risk youth, how to become nonjudgmental listeners.

Listening is not easy, but it can be learned. Listening has many attributes. It gathers information, builds strong relationships, and helps solve problems.

You can become a successful You Bet I’m Listening listener if your heart is in it. When You Bet I’m Listening first began, ARISE Foundation recruited college students from local universities who were interested in helping youth. Each volunteer participated in training and then over a ten-week period listened to at-risk juveniles for one hour per week.

If your organization would like to use volunteers, or has staff available to become You Bet I’m Listening listeners, give each person the easy to read You Bet I’m Listening manual. The You Bet I’m Listening program can be used with different age groups in schools, secure settings, youth organizations and churches. It is also a valuable manual for parents to learn to listen to their children and their spouse.

The 52 page manual provides:

  • Techniques for becoming a good listener
  • Tips and strategies for conducting I’m Listening sessions
  • Roadblocks in communication
  • Communication with difficult people
  • Establishing rapport
  • Active listening skills
  • Conversation starters
  • Problem solving skills
  • Points on becoming a nonjudgmental listener