Listening can be defined as a process of receiving information in the form of sounds or action and reacting or responding to that information through spoken or unspoken methods.
What is listening?
Listening is a process where one pays attention to the sounds and try to understand the meaning conveyed by the sounds. People most times pay more attention to their speaking skills and neglect listening skills as they think that listening happens on its own.
However, listening is the most important interpersonal skill that one should work on. Listening is one of the most important skills that an employer looks for in a candidate that they want to hire.
In this article, you will learn about different types of listening
Types of listening
#1. Discriminative listening:
This type of listening is the most basic type of listening. This type of listening is formed during the early years of the life of a child. A starts learning discriminative listening in the womb of his mother.
Discriminative listening can be defined as a type of listening where the listener differentiates between the two sounds produced even though he does not understand the meaning of the phrases or words.
For example, during the early years of life, a toddler can make the difference between the voice of his parents and the voice of others. This type of listening skill develops as we grow old and has more experience.
With the help of discriminative listening skills, you can tell the difference between two languages and also tell the difference between the accent and dialect of people from two different regions.
Discriminative listening skills are important for us as it teaches us the difference between the sound of terror or amusement, cheerfulness to anger, and helps us to understand foreign languages.
Discriminative listening plays an important role in learning a language. As I have mentioned before discriminative listening is differentiating between two sounds; therefore, discriminative listening skills are important to learn a new language. This is the reason why people are more fluent in their regional language and find it hard to excel in a foreign language.
This is because they don’t know the subtle sounds important for learning a language, which a child learn even before they learn the meaning of the words.
#2. Comprehensive Listening:
In this type of listening to a listener listens to different sounds and understand the meaning of each sound. Comprehensive listening is little advanced listening skill to discriminative listening skill, but it is also a fundamental type of listening, and it also a fundamental part of all other types of listening.
The most basic element of comprehensive listening is a language a person should have the knowledge of a wide range of vocabulary, grammar rules, and syntax in order to decipher what others are saying. In addition to language, the body language of the person, tone of their voice, and their facial expressions all play a crucial role in comprehensive listening.
It is important to have good discriminative listening skills to become good at comprehensive listening. A person who can understand the difference in the tone can understand the meaning of words better than the person who doesn’t understand the difference between the two tones.
Because of this reason, you find it difficult to learn to speak a foreign language, and no matter how hard you try, you can’t speak the language as a native person does.
These were the two basic types of listening in the article ahead you will learn about the specific forms or types of listening. Let us learn about them one by one.
#3. Informational Listening:
Informational listening is a type of listening that students do in they are in a classroom. That means informational listening is listening where the listener listens to verbal as well as non-verbal message to learn them.
This type of listening can also be referred to as goal-oriented listening when a person takes notes while listening is an example of informational listening because that person postpones the processing and critical thinking of the information and just focus on grabbing the information.
This type of listening is common to be observed in the corporate environment. For example, people use informational listening during speeches, briefing, and reporting.
As compared to other listening types informational listening is a least active type of listening, because when you learn new information or take an order, you just focus on learning and focus less on criticizing and analyzing what is being said.
#4. Biased Listening:
This type of listening takes place when a person listens to the thoughts of others with a biased mind. Biased listening can take place on the basis of certain stereotypes in the mind of the listener. A biased listener is quite judgmental for what others say.
#5. Critical Listening:
This type of listening is the opposite of informational listening. In this type of listening, a listener not only listens but also critically analyze and evaluate what is being said. The critical listening more active type of listening.
Like informational listening in critical listening, a listener receives new information and facts, but unlike informational listening, a listener not only listen and attain the information but he analyses and evaluates the information received critically and provided his judgment about it.
Critical listening is called true type of learning through listening. Unlike informational listening, it is a two-way process. In this type of listening, a listener not only listens to the information but also ask questions in order to establish a better understanding of what a speaker is saying. Teachers encourage students to indulge in critical listening rather than only informational listening.
In addition to this, critical listening plays an important role in day-to-day decision-making. For example, in office, when an employee presents a presentation stating his idea for an advertising campaign for a project.
People sitting in the presentation not merely listen but also ask questions to the employee in order to establish a better understanding about the thinking process of the employee and to give their suggestions so that he or she can improve their work.
It is important that during critical listening, one should listen open-mindedly and keep stereotypes preconceived ideas at bay.
#6. Appreciative Listening:
Appreciative listening is a kind of biased listening but in a good way. The purpose of this type of listening is to encourage the listener to speak more and provide more information. In this type of listening, a listener looks for reasons to appreciate the speaker.
For example, when a class teacher teaches public speaking to her students, she does appreciate listening rather than critical listening so that she can boost the confidence of her students. Another example of appreciative listening is when you receive the information which is useful for you and you appreciate the speaker so that you get the whole information.
One more example of appreciative listening is when you listen to a piece of good music or poetry.
#7. Empathic Listening:
Empathic listening is also referred to as therapeutic listening. Empathic listening is one of the favored interpersonal skills. The meaning of empathy is to connect with people and to understand the views of a person.
Empathy is different and certainly difficult from sympathy. People find it easy to sympathize with other people by feeling sorry for them but being empathetic towards other people is difficult, and certainly, it requires more efforts at the end of the listener.
This type of listening is used by counselors and therapists. They don’t judge their clients and don’t provide suggestions. However, they help them to reflect their views and, in this way, help them avoid misunderstanding. Empathic listening strengthens your relationship with your friends and your family members.
By feeling compassionate with them when they are going through a rough phase of their life, you can help them to pass that phase with little strength.
#8. Sympathetic listening:
In this type of listening, you care for the person you are listening. Sympathizing is when you feel sorry for the person and helps them with different ways to get past sad phase. In this type of listening, even if you don’t deeply connect with the person, you make efforts to make them joyful again.
This type of listening takes place between close friends. For example, a friend listening to the sorrow of another friend when he fails in an important interview or fails an important exam.
#9. Active listening:
Active listening is part of most of the listening that we have discussed here in this article. Active listening means participating in the listening process by asking questions or by encouraging the speaker to speak more and share more information.
This type of listening is encouraged in work and educational environment where the participation of the listener makes the information obtained through listening more useful and effective.
#10. Casual Listening:
In this type of listening, the participant shows low to zero attention to the speaker. This type of listening takes place when a person is forced to listen to something. However, the percentage of attention vary from person to person.
#11. Partial Listening:
This type of listening takes place when the listener is physically present, but his mind is not into the listening, or he is busy day-dreaming. People with a highly creative mind are found to be involved in partial listening most of the time.
#12. Initial Listening:
Initial listening is a type of listening where the listener listens less and seek for the chances to interrupt the speaker either by responding or by asking questions.
#13. Inactive listening:
Inactive listening is the opposite of active listening. In this type of listening, one does not pay attention to the speaker and pay more attention to thinking about other matters.
In this type of listening to the involvement of the listener is almost zero and does not bother to ask questions or put queries to establish a better understanding of the matter.
#14. Selective Listening:
Selective listening is an interesting type of listening. In selective listening as the name suggests people listen only what they want to listen and conveniently tune out when something unimportant to us is being told.
This type of listening has negative connotations as a listener is perceived to be less empathetic and thought to have a problem with pay attention. You all must have seen the selective listeners all around you in your classrooms, at your workplace.
People who listen to what they want to listen usually end up hurting their closed ones.
#15. Rapport Listening:
This type of listening takes place in such situations where you concern for the person who is speaking and pay full attention to what they say and tailor your response with caution.
The motive of rapport listening is to establish more understanding about the person and to strengthen the relationship with the person. This type of listening take place usually takes place in close and special relationships.
#16. Reflective listening:
This type of listening is an example of listening where you listen as well as reflect on the thoughts and ideas convey by the person.
#17. False Listening:
This type of listening takes place when a listener pretends to the listener but don’t pay any attention to what is being said. It is difficult to point out whether they are listening attentively or not because these people usually nod in between, smile or make gestures that make them paying attention.
Politicians, royal people or celebrities are known to have expertise in this type of listening because there motive is to impress the people who are in front of them in the least time and move on and never to meet them again in life so that there are no chances of the repercussions of such behavior.
Most of the times, this type of listening is observed between the couples when they start taking for granted to each other.
#18. Deep Listening:
This type of listening takes place when you not only listen to what is being said but also read in between the lines of what is being said. That means you understand the meaning, emotions, and beliefs of the speaker.