Effective & Ineffective Listening

Types of Listening

Effective Listening – People often gravitate toward one listening style or another, but what we need to remember is that each of these listening skills is useful, depending on the situation we are in at a given point of time. Being aware of these different listening styles makes you an effective communicator and helps prevent any sort of miscommunication. Identifying those you most commonly employ helps you discover new types that will improve your listening skills. So here are some examples of the same –

  • Comprehensive Listening – This is about listening to learn the content. Also known as informational listening, it helps in comprehending and absorbing what is being presented. Hence, it requires a good deal of concentration and a conscious effort to understand. It’s most useful while attending a presentation or lecture.
  • Discriminative Listening – This identifies the variation in tones and sounds as well as interprets the verbal cues to understand what the speaker is saying. Discriminative listening is developed quite early in life, where sounds are recognized without understanding their meaning.
  • Empathetic Listening – This is a way of listening for emotional support while improving mutual trust & understanding. Listening with empathy places yourself in the speaker’s situation. An important quality required here is to support & encourage, rather than advise or criticize.
  • Critical Listening – This is listening to scrutinize or analyze what is being expressed. You make mental judgments based on what a person is saying while evaluating the trustworthiness of the message and the speaker. An important element here is to have an open mind without any preconceived notions or stereotypes.
  • Appreciative Listening – This is when the listener is seeking information that they will appreciate since it meets their goals or needs, such as listening to good music or an inspiring speech. It makes the speaker feel valued and appreciated.
  • Full Listening – This happens when you pay careful attention to what the other person is saying. The aim is to understand the entire content being conveyed and is an active form of listening. We pause for summarizing & paraphrasing to ensure that the understanding of the content is correct.

Ineffective Listening – Lets now look at some of the primary listening skills that fall into this category, as they are as important to the quality of communication as are effective listening skills –

  • Selective Listening- This occurs when we filter the message too quickly while concentrating only on certain aspects. The ability to understand the whole intent of the message is lost, ending up in miscommunication while reinforcing a sense of bias for future communications.
  • Partial Listening – This is when you have the intention to listen to the other person but are distracted by other factors such as your phone, ambient noise, or stray thoughts. It impacts a person’s ability to answer a question or follow instructions accurately.
  • Biased Listening – This happens when people hear only what they want to hear while forming opinions based on a stereotype they may have against the speaker or the message. This leads to misinterpretations, and assumptions and usually leads to conflict.
  • False Listening – This is when you pretend to listen to the other person but really do not comprehend the actual message. These listeners use appropriate gestures like smiling or nodding, impacting your ability to be effective in your job.

I know this was a longer and more complex video than what we normally put up, but in all truthfulness, this is just the tip of the iceberg. To know more & become an effective listener, reach out to English Arcade today!!! Thank you for your time and have a great day!!!

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