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Many types of listening

 

Techniques Listening > Many types of listening

 

There are many names for different types of listening. Here is a collection of types and the different names that get ascribed to them, along with a brief description of each.

 

Name Description
Active listening Listening in a way that demonstrates interest and encourages continued speaking.
Appreciative listening Looking for ways to accept and appreciate the other person through what they say. Seeking opportunity to praise.

Alternatively listening to something for pleasure, such as to music.

Attentive listening Listening obviously and carefully, showing attention.
Biased listening Listening through the filter of personal bias.
Casual listening Listening without obviously showing attention. Actual attention may vary a lot.
Comprehension listening Listening to understand. Seeking meaning (but little more).
Content listening Listening to understand. Seeking meaning (but little more).
Critical listening Listening in order to evaluate, criticize or otherwise pass judgment on what someone else says.
Deep listening Seeking to understand the person, their personality and their real and unspoken meanings and motivators.
Dialogic listening Finding meaning through conversational exchange, asking for clarity and testing understanding.
Discriminative listening Listening for something specific but nothing else (eg. a baby crying).
Empathetic listening Seeking to understand what the other person is feeling. Demonstrating this empathy.
Evaluative listening Listening in order to evaluate, criticize or otherwise pass judgment on what someone else says.
False listening Pretending to listen but actually spending more time thinking.
Full listening Listening to understand. Seeking meaning.
High-integrity listening Listening from a position of integrity and concern.
Inactive listening Pretending to listen but actually spending more time thinking.
Informative listening Listening to understand. Seeking meaning (but little more).
Initial listening Listening at first then thinking about response and looking to interrupt.
Judgmental listening Listening in order to evaluate, criticize or otherwise pass judgment on what someone else says.
Partial listening Listening most of the time but also spending some time day-dreaming or thinking of a response.
Reflective listening Listening, then reflecting back to the other person what they have said.
Relationship listening Listening in order to support and develop a relationship with the other person.
Sympathetic listening Listening with concern for the well-being of the other person.
Therapeutic listening Seeking to understand what the other person is feeling. Demonstrating this empathy.
Total listening Paying very close attention in active listening to what is said and the deeper meaning found through how it is said.
Whole-person listening Seeking to understand the person, their personality and their real and unspoken meanings and motivators.

 

See also

Types of listening, Depth of listening, Active listening

 

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