Kinds of Listening
Informational Listening -This is simple, straightforward listening. The speaker intends to get a message across, and the listener's goal should be to understand that message as completely as possible. The listener might need to ask questions or request clarification to get the full message. A good way to improve your informational listening skills is to rephrase and repeat the speaker's message back to her. If the speaker affirms what you've said, you have understood the message successfully. Relationship Listening -The purpose of this type of listening is to improve the relationship between two or more people. This kind of listening skill is most often known in a romantic relationship, but it's also a big part of friendships and family relationships. In this type of listening, the speaker expresses her feelings, and the listener's job is to process the information before responding. Obstacles to objective listening are building an internal defense or negating what the speaker says. It's important to support the speaker by really hearing what she has to say rather than skipping over the comments. This kind of listening is more amenable to a give-and-take relationship and can involve the listener speaking after she has processed the speaker's thoughts. Sympathetic Listening-This could be considered the most challenging type of listening because the listener's role is often not to respond at all. The speaker who seeks sympathetic listening might have suffered a tragedy or needs someone to listen to a series of complex thoughts. The listener can help by validating what the speaker says and supporting her words. In this case, it's best for the listener to refrain from offering suggestions or clouding up the speaker's thoughts. Appreciative Listening-This is one of the most enjoyable types of listening, and it comes naturally for many people. There aren't a lot of responses necessary in appreciative listening, though groups of listeners might often...
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