Two main communication skills

The two primary communication abilities covered in this essay are hearing and listening. Words like "hearing" and "listening" are frequently interchanged or used to imply the same thing. However, despite dealing with the reception of a message or messages, the two procedures are very dissimilar. Additionally, the methods operate differently. So, the topic at hand is how hearing and listening vary from one another. Utilizing secondary literature, such as books, articles, and the internet, is the technique for carrying out the research. The paper is organized as follows: an introduction that provides background information on the subject, a body that discusses the key points of distinction, and a conclusion. This reaction paper does not have participants or data analysis as there will be no collection of data or interviewing of any participants.


Hearing and listening are both receiving processes but they are two different entities. Hearing takes place when sound waves hit the eardrums. It is a physical process of letting in inaudible stimuli without focus on the stimuli itself (west & turner 2008). Listening on the other hand, involves complex combination of hearing, seeing, comprehension, and interpretation of communication (Battell 2006).

Difference between listening and hearing

Hearing is a person's ability to perceive sound through vibration while listening takes place consciously consisting of analysis and understanding of sounds that are being heard (Surbhi 2016).

Hearing requires the use of only one sense in this case the ears while listening requires more than one, which are the ears, eyes and touch to understand the message being, received (Surbhi 2016).

Hearing is and ability that is inborn while listening itself is a skill that is learned due to the complex combinations of hearing, seeing, comprehension, and interpretation of communication involved (Surbhi 2016).

Hearing is a process that is bodily passive as the use of the brain is not required while hearing is a process that is mentally active considering that it is a skill, involving the brain to draw meaning (Surbhi 2016).

Hearing is primary and continuous in nature while listening is secondary and temporary in nature. Hearing is primary since it is the first stage and continuous because it is followed by listening (Surbhi 2016).

Hearing is physiological act as it happens through the channel of a living organism, which is the ear, and listening is psychological as it happens consciously (Surbhi 2016).

Hearing entails massage reception through the ear while listening involves message interpretation of the ears when received (Surbhi 2016).

While hearing is of only one type through the ears, listening is of five types. This includes discriminative where a person is able to pick both the verbal and non-verbal cues. Comprehensive where the aim is to understand what is being said. Appreciative listening is where the listener enjoys and cares about what is being said. Empathetic listening is where a person feels what the speaker feels as they are talking. Critical where the listener understands and is able to evaluate what is being said (Turner 2008).


In conclusion listening has a further step that hearing since hearing does not require much concentration while listening requires a bit of concentration to comprehend whatever the ear receives. Thus, hearing takes place involuntarily while listening happens intentionally.



Battell, C. (2006). Effective Listening. Fort Wyne: American Society for Trainning and Development.

Cooley, F. (N.D.). A Perspective on Listening and Hearing. Retrieved August 30, 2017, from

Surbhi .S. (2016, July 20). Differences Between Hearing and Listening. Retrieved August 30, 2017, From Key Differences:

Turner, R. W. (2008). Understanding Interpersonal Communication: Making Choices in Changing Times. Cengage Learning.

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