Types of Faulty Listening

But listening well is important when we need it and it’s a valuable skill. We all have bad habits that can impair our listening quality. The following are different types of bad listening habits:

1. Pseudo-listening: Sometimes we feel as if we are listening, engaging in all the right outward behavior, but allowing our mind to travel elsewhere. Students may do this type of listening task in classes where they are not willing to listen. When a superior delivers a long and technical speech, subordinates usually go for it. This type of listening is very common when listeners are forced to listen.

2. Selective listening: We allow ourselves to hear only those parts of a message that are of particular interest or immediate relevance to us. For example, perhaps someone wants someone to listen carefully to an argument with their best friend. Instead, the other person pays little attention until he mentions that his name was brought up during the argument.

3. Self-centered listening: An approach summarized by humorist Fran Lebowitz was “The opposite of talking is not listening. The opposite of talking is the opportunity to talk; we use that time to rehearse our next response instead of listening to him or her. We are so focused on ourselves. that others do not have access to.This is the type of listening that some management students use in case discussions.

4. Fill-in listening: Selective listening leaves inevitable gaps in our understanding. Then, when we have no choice but to fill in the blanks by hearing what we expect to hear. It’s nothing more than fill-in listening. This is the type of listening that we usually go for. A phone conversation is not of much interest to a listener on the other end of the line until one hears a topic that is of interest to him. Then, he tries to fill in the blanks of the previous message. This happens when you listen to others under duress.

5. Insulated listening: On the other hand, we actually choose not to listen to messages that make us uncomfortable. This type of listening occurs when we don’t listen to criticism of an unfinished job or advice on how to improve a bad grade or bad driving habits. Instead of choosing which parts of a message to focus on, they choose which parts to miss. It adversely affects hearing.

6. Defensive Listening: In this listening, we focus on ideas that aren’t even there, interpreting comments as personal attacks when they weren’t intended that way. This is the kind of listening that teenagers may do when they mistake an innocent parent’s question for an expression of distrust, and it’s the kind of listening that parents are doing when they see an innocent question from a child as a sign of disrespect or contempt.

7. Reconstructive Listening: Sometimes we use reconstructive listening (also called assimilation). This habit occurs when we receive a new message and reconstruct it so that it fits or corrects the previous message. If we get used to everyone talking very negatively about a certain class, we might hear a new comment about the class when it wasn’t there at all. If we are used to certain instructions in a classroom, we may hear old instructions, when in fact new instructions are being said.

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