What are the different styles of listening?

The following are the different styles of listening available for the listener to choose from:

1. Empathic Listening

In this case we empathize with the speaker, and understand things from her/his point of view, allowing her/him the freedom to express her/his emotions.

2. Informational Listening

Here, the aim is to receive information. So the listener pays attention to the content, and makes decisions regarding the taking of notes; s/he also watches for related non-verbal cues, asks questions, and focuses on the replies. All this helps her/ him to assimilate the information.

3. Evaluative Listening

We are exposed to a great deal of material intended to persuade us to accept the speaker‘s point of view; we need to evaluate what we hear, and note only certain points that are of interest or use to us.

4. Appreciative Listening

We use this form of listening when we listen to our favourite music or watch an enjoyable television programme. In these instances, careful listening greatly enhances pleasure and appreciation.

5. Critical Listening

This is when we listen critically and analytically, carefully considering the topic of the argument, the intentions of the speaker, his omissions, his point of view; his credibility and so on.

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