Have you ever been a part of a conversation where the other person constantly shuts you out? And they just won’t let you speak! Don’t worry; you’re not the only one. We all have had to go through people dominating conversations through combative listening. It’s not a pretty picture!
But what are your options? What is the best way to react? Should you be competitive too? Probably not. An active listener would be more likely to grasp what the person is saying and defend his point of view. Makes sense, no? Although it is difficult to apply in heated debates, with a little bit of practice, you’ll know what type of listener you need to be and in which situation. Here are a few that you may already be practicing but didn’t know about! Keep reading.
#1 Competitive Listening – The One Who Shuts Someone Down
Don’t you hate how your boss interrupts conversations to emphasize his point of view? Well, it’s a type of listening skill. Instead of listening to the other person, this model involves pushing your opinion onto someone else. Whether arguing with your spouse or friend, you may have realized that you have been doing this as well. Sometimes, we jump in to say what our opinion is and make a point. This type of listening is predominant when someone wants to list the flaws or drawbacks of the other person’s argument.
One can but not necessarily should apply this to have the upper hand during a negotiation. You may have realized that when you are being a competitive listener, you may indulge yourself a little too much and have a closed mind about everything else. Which isn’t ideal – especially during conversations with important people.
#2 Reflective Listening – The One Who Is An Active Participant
The best kind of conversations are those when someone is actively listening and responding to you. This is known as active listening since a huge part of it includes listening to the other person’s side of the story. It’s necessary to be patient and reflective since hearing alone does not do the job.
Remember when your spouse told you that they would be late for dinner tonight? But you were glued to the television! You may have heard it, but did you listen? If you listened, you would have responded and asked questions or given an opinion. So, it’s necessary for both people to be interested and intrigued while this takes place. Interactive conversations can lead to discoveries about oneself and the people around you. Any conversation can become an intense one. Like an adventure ride. So push beyond your comfort zone and activate your ear lobes. This conversation is going to be a thrilling one!
#3 Passive Listening – One-Sided Conversations
Some people simply like to listen. They are attentive listeners and are absorbing all the information they get with every passing minute. However, this can get monotonous for the other person if it’s a long conversation. Although ideal when you want to pay attention to someone, you may use this while someone is giving a lecture, a talk, or narrating their experiences.
Rather than being reflective, you would want to listen with utmost curiosity and be 100 percent engrossed in the smooth-flowing conversation.
Here, unlike when you’re actively listening, even if you agree with the other individual, you’re not doing so vocally. This can be a good practice to understand what someone is saying, instead of trying to put your point across.
There you go, those were the three different types of listening skills that you probably didn’t know about. We all use these at different points in our conversations throughout the day. Sometimes you can be an active listener with your friend but a passive listener with your boss and a competitive listener with your partner!