Even when it is a natural ability, listening is indeed no less than any art. Practice it before you preach it and there’s no way you would not be excelling at being a better and greater person. Here’s listing the most effective of the types of listening skills that you can use effectively to your benefit every single day-
Among the types of listening skills that is the earliest to develop is the discriminatory listening technique. As apparent in the term, this listening allows you to distinguish and differentiate between sounds so that you know the particular sound that characterises a particular thing.
The development of discriminative listening skills begins even before you are born- when you are still in your mother’s womb to be precise, and gradually grows in dimesnsion as you progress through life in age. Whether it be helping us in differentiating between the effect of every sound or the ability to recognise subtle differences in the way that sounds sound like, discriminative listening is the basis that leads to further classification of the other types of skills pertaining to that genre. In fact this listening skill also forms the foundation of our aptitude to gradually begin to understand body language as well.
Comprehension or informative listening
Obviously once you have distinguished between sounds on the basis of your listening skills it’s important that you also comprehend all the information that falls on your ears. Because the aim behind listening is mostly guided by an appropriate reaction to it, it becomes all the more essential for the comprehensive types of listening skills to take centerstage.
Accurately deciphering the meaning of every word uttered and also all those subtle sounds that might have also given away vital information pertaining to the conversation is what informative listening skills enable you to do. Vocabulary and language skills work prominently in manifesting communicative listening most emphatically. But since even the most clearly stated information might lead to a duality of understanding because of the way how two different individuals tend to receive it, body language also becomes significant in being a true decipher of the body language that needs to sync with what is being let out in order for the conversation to have the maximum desired effect.
Equally important as comprehensive listening is critical listening which indicates the ability to form opinions and make judgements on the basis of the information that has been acquired from the conversation. Evaluating critically what is being said so that what you take from it is just the truth however is no mean matter and can again be subject to duality. It also is somewhat of a complex phenomenon because you need to do the critical receptive thing simultaneously while discriminating and comprehending what you are hearing. Because words and information do not generally register exactly as you had heard it it becomes important to develop this of types of listening skills so that you can critically analyse the conversation at the very momemt it is happening.
Think about all those times you zoned out in the middle of a conversation either because all those information was of no use to you or just because it was a really boring experience. No wonder with your full attention clearly not thrust on listening you miss out on parts of the conversation and register information only in bits and pieces. That’s when you would be displaying the selective types of your listening skills.
It might be easy to confuse biased listening with selective listening but there arises a fundamental difference here. While selective listening is an involuntary mechanism that filters out things that do not interest you, biased listening stems from your own preference to not take into account certain things while exclusively concentrating on others. This preference might be guided by set perceptions and prevailing stereotypes and might also be sometimes more intuitive than discretionary.
Evaluative listening might also come close to the critical types of listening skills but with some difference. This type of the skills come into play specially when the other person is trying to convince us of certain things and the onus falls on us to either accept or reject such proceedings. Of course even evaluative listening needs us to be critical but there still remains a fine line of difference that make them overlapping, yet exclusive domains in their own right.
Listening isn’t always about comprehension and reaction, it sometimes ceases to have any significance even when you can be seriously appreciative of what is being said. Think for instance about a quote that captivates you even when it is waxed about in a foreign language. Or consider even just the music that does not have any words strung to it but simply eases you with the melody every time you listen to it. In instances like this even when you might or might not be fully receptive of the language, the listening experience turns out to be a truly enriching one that renders you instantly appreciative of its effect.
Sympathetic listening has you doing exactly what it professes to have you do. In assertion of this among the myriad types of listening skills, you listen and comprehend but also understand and sympathise with what the other person is saying. This kind of listening is essentially also complemented by expression of your own shared feelings and emotions in response to what is being said to you.
Therapeutic or empathetic listening
Therapeutics listening skills find expression when you translate a conversation way beyond the realms of just hear- say. Like they say, pouring your heart out helps you relieve yourself which is why listening to what someone has to say can have a therapeutic impact on them. That’s exactly why you feel lesser of the blues right after you see your therapist or after you catch up with your bestie. The therapy works on you but in reality it is the assertion of their empathetic types of listening skills that brings about the impact.
Relationship or rapport listening
As social beings who need to strike relationships for both emotional and practical purposes, humans also exhibit the rapport types of listening skills. In a world where being a good listener is just as important as excelling at oratory deliverance, relationship listening works upon this fundamental impact of what being a forever receptive hearer entails. By rendering you more trustworthy and likeable because of your innate ability to lend an ear, this listening skill indeed helps develop and further relationships and hence the name.