Listening is important because it provides individuals with the required information about the world around them and other people’s emotions, feelings, and ideas. Four styles that differ in terms of a person’s motivation for listening are task-oriented listening, relational listening, analytical listening, and critical listening (Bodie, Worthington, & Gearhart, 2013). Advanced listening skills are important in the personal and professional life, and much attention should be paid to developing not only the most actively used or preferable listening style but also the least developed style to become a flexible and effective listener. I tend to use analytical listening in most cases and situations in contrast to critical listening that is rarely used, and the purpose of this paper is to describe why I choose one listening style among others and how I can improve my use of other styles.
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The assessment of my listening preferences has indicated that I use the analytical listening style in the majority of cases, and the reason for this tendency is my focus on understanding a full message before making any conclusions. It is rather difficult for me to provide any judgment or make a quick decision without learning all the details, therefore, I usually listen to full messages and avoid missing any point, and then, I can ask additional questions to clarify some aspects. This complex approach allows me to understand a situation and evaluate it from different perspectives (Worthington & Bodie, 2017). I can state that I use this listening style in my workplace and during my study because these approaches help me concentrate on a message when it is necessary to assess it and formulate the conclusion or judgment. From this point, in my daily life, this listening style is most appropriate.
The listening style that I use rarely is critical listening. However, I am focused on improving my use of this style because it is connected with my analytical listening. Although critical listeners tend to evaluate messages like analytical listeners, in my everyday life, I do not use this approach because critical listeners assess the quality of messages and listen to find some mistakes in their logic (Hamilton, 2013). My focus is usually on understanding a message, not criticizing it. Still, I need to improve my skills in critical listening in order to develop my analytical listening as they are connected. I should improve this listening type while focusing on the accuracy of messages. Furthermore, I should also assess the messages’ consistency and reliability. These approaches will help me become a critical listener.
If I improve my use of critical listening, my professional relationships will benefit. The reason is that I will become not only an effective analytical listener, who is able to analyze situations, information, and data from various perspectives and make appropriate conclusions, but I will also become a critical listener, who evaluates situations, information, and data to check their accuracy (Adler, Rodman, & DuPré, 2016). As a result, my conclusions, decisions, and judgments related to the professional sphere will become stronger and based on a careful analysis of a message.
After analyzing my approach to listening, I can state that my developed listening styles are associated with my professional and study activities. Therefore, the development of critical listening in addition to analytical listening will help me achieve higher professional goals and results. Moreover, I can note that other listening styles, such as task-oriented listening and relational listening, are developed effectively to address my needs in personal communication.
Adler, R., Rodman, G. R., & DuPré, A. (2016). Understanding human communication (13th ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Bodie, G. D., Worthington, D. L., & Gearhart, C. C. (2013). The listening styles profile-revised (LSP-R): A scale revision and evidence for validity. Communication Quarterly, 61(1), 72-90.
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Hamilton, C. (2013). Communicating for results: A guide for business and the professions (10th ed.). New York, NY: Cengage Learning.
Worthington, D. L., & Bodie, G. D. (Eds.). (2017). The sourcebook of listening research: Methodology and measures. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.