Listening Methods That Will Transform Your Career

Listening Methods That Will Transform Your Career

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1. Active Listening

Active listening simply means that you’re completely focused on the person who is talking to you, and you’re showing very obviously with your body language that you’re giving whoever is speaking your full attention.  When you’re engaged in active listening you’ll be giving off a range of subtle verbal and non-verbal cues to show you’re listening.

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1. Active Listening

For example, active listening might require stopping all other activities and avoiding distractions to show that listening is your priority—while maintaining eye contact, keeping your body turned towards the speaker, nodding, and saying “Mmhmm.” Mirroring the speaker’s body language and/or facial expressions can send them

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1. Active Listening

the message that you’re interested in what they’re saying.

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2. Critical Listening

Critical listening, which is sometimes also referred to as evaluative listening, involves problem-solving, analysis, and decision-making. When you’re engaged in this kind of listening, your critical faculties are fully switched on and you’re processing the information that someone is sharing with you in real-time, ready to ask relevant questions 

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2. Critical Listening

and get clarification on any points that are unclear. When engaged in critical listening, it’s important to take notes so you can follow up on key points, and make sure you’re not making any assumptions about the meaning of what you’re hearing that might make you misinterpret the information.

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3. Informational Listening

Informational listening is listening to learn, and this type of listening is very important for students or someone going through training or onboarding in a new company. Informational listening is not necessarily about giving feedback or an opinion in response to what you’ve heard, as is the case with critical listening, but more to 

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3. Informational Listening

understand and absorb a message. As with critical listening, it’s important to take notes when engaged in informational listening, as this will help you remember and assimilate important pieces of information. Another great place to use your informational listening? You guessed it—in an informational interview.

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4. Empathetic Listening

Empathetic listening is any kind of listening that helps you empathize with and understand someone’s emotion—essentially putting yourself in someone’s shoes as they talk, and showing that you are really thinking about what it must be like to be them. Since empathy is the cornerstone of good communication, this is arguably 

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4. Empathetic Listening

the most important type of listening. Sometimes, the best way to show real compassion and acceptance is by keeping an open mind and a closed mouth. Empathetic listening is crucially important in misunderstandings and moments of upset. An effective communicator won't try to make the speaker feel like

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4. Empathetic Listening

their point of view is more or less valuable than their colleagues. Instead, you'll listen, offer understanding, and give your own opinion if and when asked.

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5. Appreciative Listening

Appreciative listening is the kind of listening we all do when we’re listening to music we love or our favorite podcasts, watching something entertaining, or listening to an inspiring speech. (Think of the last time you found yourself nodding along, or raising your hands in an “Amen!”) It’s a relaxed form of listening that is less about 

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5. Appreciative Listening

communicating with someone in a collaborative way than simply receiving pleasure or encouragement from them (and reflecting this back at them by showing we appreciate what they’ve shared with us). Appreciative listening is no less important for being a bit more passive than other forms of listening, though.

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6. Visual Listening

Remember how we told you that a major benefit of listening is the ability to become a great problem-solver?  Especially in the workplace, visual listening is what we're talking about. It's "listening for" the non-verbal communication that happens in meetings, over Slack messages, or when a certain client comes by the office.  

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6. Visual Listening

We're not telling you to become a workplace mole, but a little probing and attention never hurt. Here are a few ways to visually listen to what happens at work, without invading privacy.

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