More Types Of Listening
Part Two

Part 2 - Part 1

The Listener Calls The Shots

Mastering the different types of listening helps us to meet the challenge of attempting to shed light on that mysterious phenomenon we call communication.

Sooner or later, on this journey of Mind Expansion, one realizes that the full responsibility of communication rests with the Listener. A Human cannot be forced to listen.

The listener calls the shots

Genuine communication not only begins, but resides, with the listener. If, at any stage of the dialogue, one party does not comprehend the other, communication stalls. This common predicament can only be rectified by the person doing the listening. 

A speaker may have the means – I hesitate to use the word authority - to confine a fellow Human in jail and throw away the key, for refusing to listen.

But apart from establishing who the dominant party happens to be, has communication been accomplished?

A true corollary is business and customers. No customers equals no business. No matter how sophisticated the business platform may be.

More Types Of Listening

Whether beneficial or detrimental to a given situation, the listener holds a most influential position.

He or she calls the shots on progress.

With this sobering Thought in mind let’s explore how we can dramatically improve a situation by understanding the different types of listening better.

Empathetic listening

Empathy is being consciously aware of another Human Being's state of mind and warmly responding in an understanding manner. Responding so requires one to be a mindful listener, delicately tapping into the Emotions expressed by the speaker.

Listen mindfully

An empathetic listener is capable of demonstrating compassion and concern by walking a mile, or two, or more, in the speakers shoes.

Sharing warmth, an empathetic listener tentatively encourages the other party to talk. Doing so either by remaining silent, or asking for more information at the appropriate time, and responding tactfully to the speaker, until a sense of rapport is established.

Often, another Human merely wants a receptive ear, to act as a sounding board, as he or she Thinks aloud on a journey to resolving an issue. Offering a solution at this point is altogether premature.

An accomplished empathetic listener can get to the heart of a speaker’s unresolved problem without offering solutions. Instead, the speaker discovers the solution, in the course of the communication, for his or her self. Guided by the compassion and concern of the empathetic listener, and the growing rapport, that this type of listening elicits.

Depending on the situation, this can take much time. Empathetic listening covers the gamut of Human emotions, allowing an empathetic listener to share the speaker’s experience.


Mindfulness is an age old practice of Conscious Awareness, dating back some 2500 years, originating in Eastern Philosophy.

Only recently introduced to Western Culture, originating with the practice of Transcendental Meditation, in the early 1960s, the complete Philosophy of Mindfulness is proving to be most invaluable in Psychology, Cognitive Therapy, and Medicine.

Mindfulness is a lifestyle and is perfectly compatible with Personal Development.

A mindful person is both an observer and participant at the same time. You may recognize this state of awareness as ‘Flow’ or ‘being in the Zone’. Mindfulness is living in the moment, and is of immense benefit to all who practice it as a lifestyle.

The rewards of Mindfulness are substantial.

Reflective Listening

Reflective listening requests that we analyze what a speaker says – mostly in real time, then feed their Thoughts back to them in our own words, in such a manner that the speaker agrees we actually do understand the message they are attempting to convey.

It is not necessary to agree with the speaker's message, but it is necessary to comprehend a speaker's message.

In keeping with the complex nature of communication, understanding does not arrive readily or immediately. This is not a fault on the part of either the speaker or listener. It is merely an indication that patience and further discussion is needed. This raw indication highlights the intrinsic value of reflective listening, making it one of the most useful of the different types of listening.

An individual can use reflection and critical Thinking in their own time on their own terms, to deepen their understanding of any situation. This intelligent approach allows one to resume communications with a fresh Mind and renewed vigor. 

This is particularly useful if a communication breaks down, or stalemates.

So Cool

It is befitting to note that Alfred Vail, the man who organized the funding for the launching of  Samuel Morse’s Electric Telegraph - one of the first methods of reaching out to our fellow Humans over vast distance - used reflection and critical thinking to arrive at the decision that commercialized communication.

Attentive listening

Of all the different types of listening, attentive listening almost always leads to effective listening which in turn leads to problem resolution and Social advancement. One's ability to listen attentively enhances a relationship and builds rapport.

Listen attentively, I’m sayin’ this once only

An attentive listener does not interrupt the speaker. Knowing it is better, by far, to let the speaker finish before responding.

This gentle approach is particularly useful in formal situations such as negotiations. The greater one's knowledge, of the other participant's requirements, the more effective will be the outcome.

Akin to discriminative listening habits, an attentive listener closely monitors a speaker’s body language signals. Including facial expressions. He or she does not allow distractions to interrupt their focusing on asking questions, based on the speaker’s interests and needs.

An attentive listener is normally seeking information that facilitates delivering an outcome that renders a win win even. Via a Meeting Of Minds.

When one is in charge of their healthy ego, via being in charge of their Emotions, these types of listening can all be mastered by logic. Elation or any other – positive of course – Emotion, can be expressed when we can prove beyond reasonable doubt, that we have made the right decision.

Such is the complex nature of listening.

Critical listening

Similar to critical reading - which we should be engaged in right now - and critical writing, accurate research, and subject knowledge, are crucial to critical listening.

Are the sources we rely on, for information, trustworthy? Or do they consist of pompous spin doctoring, or worse, deception?

Critical listening is a paradox

Critical listening is a situation where sound judgment is essential. Particularly when we consider the all too common occurrence of Humans taking on board false information, which then becomes their fact.

We know false information by the name of fake news, fake product reviews etc. We also recognize fake info is rampant.

There is only one reason fake is rampant. We allow it it to be. This indicates critical listening, and other critical learning skills, are in short supply. Our critical judgment in general appears to be in serious need of sharpening.

Judgment is not to be confused with judgmental, which is an undesirable listening behavior and a major way we block communication.

Good judgment leads to sound decisions. Being judgmental leads to misery.

Quite A Paradox

Critical listening is most important when we are required to arrive at decisions that have consequences affecting our, or others, Well-being in life.

Professional Advisers, and Service Providers, we seek out for information, must be genuinely knowledgeable, and trustworthy, in their delivery.

The best way to ensure we recognize this is by possessing knowledge and information of the very type we are seeking. Employing that knowledge we know to be true and accurate as a foundation to build further understanding upon. A paradox indeed.

Critical listening is without a doubt the most demanding of all types of listening.

If you have ever been engaged in genuine research you will more than likely concur with this conclusion.

Critical listening may be difficult, and demanding, but we are begging to be hurt if we do not embrace it.

Knowing More Types of listening Rocks!

Part 2 - Part 1

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