The skill of listening to one another seems to be becoming a thing of the past.

Most people agree that there are three basic listening skills a person needs to be successful in our world today: Informational Listening, Critical Listening and Therapeutic/ Empathetic Listening.

Informational Listening involves the ability of the listener to learn. Listening to a how-to recipe, a news broadcast, or an instructor lecturing on your topic of choice are all examples of Informational Listening.

Critical Listening means that the listener is wishing to analyze and evaluate the content being presented. Often the listener is looking to solve a problem or make a decision- that is why the information is deemed important and relevant. The listener is looking for an aligning of beliefs with the information being stated, or a supplementing or disregarding of said beliefs. When listening with a critical intent, it is important to put-a-pause on your own preconceived ideas so that you can fully hear what the speaker is saying BEFORE beginning to analyze and assess.

Therapeutic and Empathetic Listening mean you are attempting to understand the feelings and the emotions of another. This does NOT mean that you happen to agree with what you are hearing; you are only seeking to understand. There is no judgement or offering-of-advice in Therapeutic/ Empathetic Listening. You are allowing the speaker the right to be truly hear.

I could move on from hear into a message about what I think is wrong with the world today, but if you have truly listening to the above descriptions … it is unnecessary.


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