Listening: a complex process that consists of being mindful, hearing, selecting and organizing information, interpreting communication, responding, and remembering. (Wood, 331) The active process of making meaning out of another person’s spoken message. (Floyd, G4)
When we begin to ‘hear attentively’, we are said to be ‘listening.’ The concepts of “hearing” and listening … should always be carefully distinguished. (Crystal, 145) Includes receiving (taking in information by seeing and hearing), attending (devoting attention to received information), understanding, and responding (listener communicates their attention and understanding—for example, by nodding or murmuring agreement). (McCornack, 152-156)
Action-Oriented Listeners: those who prefer to receive concise, to-the-point, accurate information for decision making—for example, a supervisor who requires brief summaries from department heads and does not want to bat around details in long meetings. (McCornack, 165) Also referred to as ‘time-oriented listeners.
Content-Oriented Listeners: those who prefer to be intellectually challenged by “messages” - they prefer complex, detailed information. For example, a supervisor reviews the success of a fund-raising event by requesting data analyzing the effectiveness of her team’s publicity campaign instead of asking to hear about team members’ experiences. (McCornack, 166)
Listening Strategies: listening serves five general purposes: to analyze, to appreciate, to comprehend, to discern, and to support. (McCornack, 162) Listening for information, focuses on gaining and evaluating ideas, facts, opinions, and reasons… Listening for pleasure, is motivated by the desire to enjoy… Listening to support, aims to understand and respond to others' feelings, thoughts, and perceptions in affirming ways. (Wood, 332)
Aggressive Listening: listening in order to collect information to use against the speaker, such as when a (supervisor) encourages his (subordinate) to describe his ambitions just to ridicule the (subordinate’s) goals. (McCornack, 171) Also referred to as 'ambushing.'
Narcissistic Listening: a self-centered approach to listening where the listener redirects the conversation to his or her own interests. For example, Neil acts bored while Jack describes a recent ski trip, interrupting Jack and switching the topic to his own recent car purchase. (McCornack, 174)
Provocative Listening: aggressive listeners who intentionally bait and attack others in online communication. For example, a group member stirs up trouble in a chatroom by criticizing the study group leader and then humiliates other respondents. (McCornack, 171)
Pseudo-Listening: using feedback behaviors to give the false impression that one is listening. (Floyd, G5) Pretending to listen while preoccupied or bored. (McCornack, 170)
Selective Listening: listening only to what you want to hear. (Floyd, G5) The human ability to pay attention to some incoming sound stimuli and to ignore others. (Crystal, 147) Focusing only on selected parts of communication. We listen selectively when we screen out parts of a message that don't interest us or with which we disagree. (Wood, 334) Listening that captures only parts of a message (those that are the most interesting to the listener) and dismisses the rest. (McCornack, 169)
People-Oriented Listeners: those who view listening as an opportunity to establish commonalities between themselves and others. For example, Carl enjoys Elaine’s descriptions of the triumphs and difficulties she’s had learning to snowboard. (McCornack, 165)