What is Listening?
Listening is the most critical component in the communication process. It involves accurately receiving and interpreting messages in a spoken, written, or non-verbal format. When we fail to listen correctly, it becomes a.
There are different, each one relevant to a specific set of circumstances. Let us take a look at some of the primary types of listening.
It is called discriminative listening when deciphering communication simply by recognizing the tone of voice and other sound nuances. Babies or pets do not understand words, but they rely on discriminative listening to identify people and moods. As grown-ups, we sometimes depend on visual and tonal aspects such as mannerisms, facial expressions, and body language- to provide clues to what we are listening to.
We practice comprehensive listening when focusing on the overall context and message. With a limited emphasis on each word, extensive listening is an overriding type that covers most other forms of listening. We tend to use total listening to quickly understand and summarize the messages being communicated in our daily lives.
When trying to understand new concepts and comprehend relatively new terms, we experience informative listening. It is usually a rational form that follows a logical sequence when listening to instructions, lecture sessions, or a briefing. It plays a vital role in our career and in learning new things.
Critical listening often happens in teamwork when participating in a problem-solving exercise and deciding if we agree with a proposition. This involves analyzing or evaluating the information communicated to us. It does not mean passing judgment or criticizing but appraising the information one receives.
Almost the opposite of critical listening is little listening, also known as selective listening. It is a type of listening behavior when someone listens only for the information one wants to hear. Because it does not involve an honest evaluation of the speaker’s opinions, it is a communication barrier that can distort facts and lead to inefficiencies.
Sympathetic listening is convenient when the need is to offer support and, if required, sound advice. Usually driven by emotion, this type of listening involves processing feelings or emotions being communicated. One might use sympathetic listening when colleagues are explaining their troubles at work. This kind of listening helps establish a deeper connection and to bond with another person.
When a listener tries to understand a point of view by placing themselves directly in the speaker’s position, it is empathetic listening. Empathetic listening is usually the result of having first-hand knowledge of the message you are listening to. Compassionate listening is typically the result of having first-hand knowledge of the message you are listening to. Sometimes referred to as therapeutic listening, it goes beyond sympathetic listening and enables the listener to relate to the speaker’s experience as if it were their own.
Listening for enjoyment is appreciative listening. A good example is listening to music or your favorite speaker. At workplaces, this type of listening helps us build rapport with others. We engage in it to encourage others to trust and like us.
We take listening for granted, as though it is a natural habit. But listening is a skill that needs to be nurtured and cultivated. Good listening makes us great communicators and offers others an enjoyable experience speaking to us, making good listening skills a vital foundation for building strong personal relationships with our families, friends, and colleagues. Many online courses teach us the subtleties of practicing the various forms of listening.