Listening Skills: 3 Different Listener Styles
Poor listening skills make for great comedy, but they are not a good thing to have in business. People who are not great listeners may miss key details, forget what their duties are and lose the chance to develop strong relationships with others. In your work and personal life, it is extremely important to be a great listener. To do this, you have to understand first that listening and hearing are two different things. Also, there is not just one kind of listening; there are three. Many people may favor one type of listening over another at a different time in their life. Each learning style has some benefits but is not appropriate to use all the time. Read more about the different types of listening so you can figure out which one is your default. Once you understand this, you can have greater control over when and how you use the listening styles. This self-awareness will help make you more successful in business and in every other area of your life.
Lots of people have been in this situation. You are already late to work but you still have to brush your teeth, find your keys and somehow wolf down something that resembles breakfast. In the middle of all your rushing around, your partner, child or roommate says something to you. You hastily acknowledge it as you hurry out the door. Later on, you find out that you either agreed to something you definitely do not remember or missed a key piece of information. If you are not usually a forgetful person, you may be wondering how you missed something so important You were likely experiencing transient listening, which is the kind of listening that people exhibit in high-stress situations. While this type of listening can be beneficial if you really are in a situation that requires you to be highly alert and constantly scanning your situation for dangers, there aren’t many situations that require it. If you are stuck in this type of listening for too long, you may reduce the quality of your current relationships and lose the chance to form new ones.
Other characteristics of people exhibiting transient listening skills include:
-A racing mind
-Lack of attention in meetings
-Always checking their phones or mobile devices
Sometimes you just need to get things done. In these situations, transactional listening can really come in handy. Transactional listening focuses on working with other people to reach a defined goal and it requires very strategic thinking and listening. These conversations follow a logical path and aim to get from point A to point B as quickly and efficiently as possible. If you favor this style, you may be very good at asking questions that guide the conversation toward the intended goal. Transactional listening is a very useful skill to have, especially if you manage people or have a very goal-directed job. When this type of listening results in good outcomes for all parties involved, it can also help you form and strengthen relationships. However, to acquire great listening skills, truly make the most out of an encounter and create strong bonds, you need to know how to harness the power of the third style: transformational listening.
While the previous two types of listening have their place and can help you in certain situations, only using those two learning styles means you miss out on the most authentic and deep types of connection. Only when you slow down, become aware and mindful of yourself and truly listen to another person can you experience transformational listening. This type of listening is where connections form. Transformational listening is a whole-body practice and involves putting focused attention on the other person. People with transformational listening skills are comfortable with silence as an important part of an in-depth conversation.
Benefits of transformational listening include a deepening of current connections; the chance to make new, lasting connections; and the formation of complex, novel ideas. But even though there are so many positives to this listening approach, it is surprisingly hard to become skills at it. Transformational listening requires mindfulness, which is an increasingly hard state to attain in the modern world.
Good listening skills are important for every person, no matter their age, situation or job type. Remember that listening is a multi-faceted thing and that some styles are more beneficial for certain purposes than others. Don’t miss out on the deep connections that proper listening can result in. For more information on how you can become smarter, more focused and better at whatever you do, browse through the other articles on Mighty Recruiter.