In communication, there exist many types of listening most of which depend on the recall and retention aspects

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In conversation, there are several ways of listening, most of which rely, as a matter of fact, on the memory and retention aspects; the paper would seek to include an overview of four types of listening: empathetic, critical, informative and discriminatory.
Informational listening can be described as the method of listening in which a person uses memory and strong concentration skills to listen to information in a non-discriminating manner, while at the same time seeking to understand and remember the information communicated (Brownell, 2015). For example, a student would listen to an insightful lecture at the college about such subjects as abortion, with the primary aim of understanding the phenomenon. Discriminative listening, on the other hand, entails the type of listening in which the person is more interested in isolating specific information through the visual and auditory stimuli by monitoring their surroundings (Brownell, 2015). For example, a child learns to distinguish the sound patterns of the mother from other sounds within the area so that the child can understand when the mother is angry, or happy through the auditory and visual patterns experienced.

Empathetic listening focuses on the kind of listening in which the listener attempts to identify with and understand the emotions expressed by the speaker (Brownell, 2015). For instance, the listener tries to put himself in the position of the speaker so that he or she can share the speaker’s thoughts, emotions, and feelings. This listening type is demonstrated between therapists and their clients whereby the therapist listens to the client and encourages the clients to express and elaborate on what they feel so that the therapist can understand what the client is going through and offer the appropriate help.

Critical listening is a more involving form of listening in which the listener engages in listening with the aim of evaluating and scrutinizing the information being said so that some decision can be made from it. In this form of listening, the listener tries to get answers to such questions as what the speaker is trying to pass across, what the main argument is, and how the information differs from opinions and beliefs (Brownell, 2015). For example, the type of listening is experienced when a person is listening to two or more conflicting parties so that a resolution is reached; the person will listen to the facts and make a judgment from the presented facts.

Listening plays a vital role in determining various aspects of human life. Since listening is a central part of communication, it is vital for good communication to involve good listening skills. As such, if an individual is interested in communicating effectively with the friends and even in professional spheres, good listening skills have to be employed (Wolvin & Coakley, 1985). To begin with, listening effectively allows an individual to isolate the required information from noise and therefore capturing the details expected. Moreover, isolating facts from opinions allows for comprehending the main argument without being clouded by the opinions and beliefs.

Considering the different types of listening discussed, critical listening is the most important in communication. As a matter of fact, at the workplace, it is important to listen to instructions provided by the superior officer and then determine what is expected of you so that you can create a course of action basing on the information gained through listening (Wolvin & Coakley, 1985).

Regarding the listening demonstrated by Erin in the video clip is empathetic listening. As a matter of fact, she attempts to identify with what the speaker is thinking and anticipates what has not been shared yet (Derlaga & Berg, 2013). In the scene, self-disclosure has played a role in reducing the level of trust between Erin and the employer in such a way that the way Erin perceives lawyers lead her into airing it out towards the lawyer in the scene (Derlaga & Berg, 2013).


Brownell, J. (2015). Listening: Attitudes, Principles, and skills. Routledge.

Derlaga, V. J., & Berg, J. H. (Eds.). (2013). Self-disclosure: Theory, research, and therapy. Springer Science & Business Media.

Wolvin, A. D., & Coakley, C. G. (1985). Listening. Wm. C. Brown Publishers, 2460 Kerper Blvd., Dubuque, IA 52001.

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