Listen Better, Hear More
Communication is a two
way street filled with roadblocks. Usually, we blame the communicator for being vague or
uninformed, but research has shown that listening skills are just as important as
communication skills in getting the point across. Researchers identified nine types of
listening styles that serve as roadblocks, thus preventing a speaker's message from
1. Mind reader - Hears little or
nothing because the listener is too busy wondering, "What is this person really
thinking, or feeling?"
2. Rehearser - Mental tryouts for
"Here's what I'll say next" tunes out the speaker.
3. The filterer - Some call this
selective listening. It happens when the listener hears only what he or she wants to hear.
4. Dreamer - Drifting off during a
face-to-face conversation can lead to the embarrassing "What did you say?" or,
"Could you repeat that?"
5. Identifier - By referring
everything to a personal experience, this person doesn't really hear what is said.
6. Comparer - Those who get side
tracked into assessing the messenger are sure to miss the message.
7. Derailer - Changing the subject
too quickly tells others a listener is not interested in what is being said.
8. Sparrer - Hearing what's said,
but quickly discounting it, is just another version of derailing.
9. Placater - Agreeing with
everything said just to be nice or to avoid conflict does not make a good listener.
Revised: Saturday, February 23, 2002 08:42 AM