listeners are most interested in the quality of messages they hear. They want to seek details and are good at analysing an issue from several perspectives. Content oriented listeners often enjoy ideas for their own sake and are willing to spend time exploring them in thorough exchanges of ideas. A content-oriented approach is valuable when the goal is to evaluate the quality of ideas and when there is value in looking at issues from a wide range of perspectives. A content-oriented approach can take more time than others may be willing to give, and the challenging of ideas that comes with it can be perceived as overly critical or even hostile.
People-oriented listeners are especially concerned with creating and maintaining positive relationships.
Those who are people-oriented show a strong concern for others and their feelings. They are external in focus, getting their energy from others and find much meaning in relationships, talking about 'we' more than 'you' or 'they'.
They tune into others’ moods,and they respond to speakers’ feelings as well as their ideas. People-oriented listeners are typically less judgemental about what others have to say than are content-oriented types: They are more interested in understanding and supporting people than in evaluating them. It is easy to become overly involved with others’ feelings.
People who are time-oriented have their eyes constantly on the clock. They organize their day into neat compartments and will allocate time for listening, though will be very concerned if such sessions over-run.
Action-oriented listening is most appropriate when taking care of business is the primary concern: Such listeners keep a focus on the job at hand and encourage others to be organized and concise. Action-oriented listeners seem to minimize emotional issues and concerns, which may be an important part of business and personal transactions.
Time-oriented listeners are most concerned with efficiency. They view time as a scarce and valuable commodity. They grow impatient when they view others as wasting it. A time orientation can be an asset when deadlines and other pressures demand fast action. On the other hand, a time orientation can put off others when it seems to disregard their feelings. Also, an excessive focus on time can hamper the kind of thoughtful deliberation that some jobs require.
Informational listening is the approach to take when you want to understand another person. When you are an informational listener, your goal is to make sure you are receiving the same thoughts the other person is trying to convey
Critical listening is a form of listening that if usually not mentioned, since it involves analysis, critical thinking and judgement. Whereas the goal of informational listening is to understand a speaker, the goal of critical listening (also called “evaluative listening”) involves evaluating an idea to test its merit. In this sense, we could say that non critical listeners are unquestioning, or even naive and gullible.
While experts on learning and communication almost universally demean the importance and value of critical listening, when it comes to real life, listening critically is used every day.
For example, if there's an upcoming election and you need to decide who to vote for, you probably use some form of critical listening when you watch a televised debate. You listen, AND you evaluate. The key though, is to try to understand the other person FIRST, before one evaluates.
We listen both informationally and critically out of self-interest. In empathic listening, however, the goal is to build a relationship or help the speaker solve a problem. Empathic listening is the approach to use when others seek help for personal dilemmas. Empathic listening is also a good approach to take when you simply want to become better acquainted with others and to show them that their opinions and feelings matter to you. Empathic listening can accomplish both of them, because when listening helps another person, the relationship between speaker and listener.
When we listen empathetically, we go beyond sympathy to seek a truer understand how others are feeling. This requires excellent discrimination and close attention to the nuances of emotional signals. When we are being truly empathetic, we actually feel what they are feeling.
In order to get others to expose these deep parts of themselves to us, we also need to demonstrate our empathy in our demeanour towards them, asking sensitively and in a way that encourages self-disclosure.