As the term implies, active listeners involve themselves actively in the communication process by keenly listening not only to the message but also to the way it has been delivered. They focus on the content as well the manner in which it is delivered. This means that they will take note of the verbal content along with its nonverbal subtexts. They will not hesitate to seek clarifications, ask leading questions, show their approval by nodding head, and summarize
PASSIVE LISTENERS Passive listeners exhibit exactly the opposite behavioristic traits of active listeners. They pay attention only to partial message and lack sensitivity to the nuances, inner meanings, nonverbal subtexts involved in communication. They allow someone to speak, without interrupting or seeking clarifications. They do not make notes, nod their head in approval, maintain eye contact and keep themselves idle. Passive “listening,” is actually hearing not listening! Since passive listeners keep their minds closed, communication with them is futile and incomplete.
NON LISTENERS The non-listeners do not listen at all because they are genuinely disinterested in the subject. These people pretend to follow the speaker while they are actually preoccupied with something else. So, they will fake attention, but they could easily be recognized by their blank stare, impatient and nervousness mannerisms. They might be suffering from rigidity of thinking and egotism. Their complete insensitivity and insensible nature makes them incapable of understanding others. In fact, they do not even make an effort to hear what the other person is saying.
MARGINAL LISTENERS Impatient to listen to the main ideas, marginal listeners pay superficial attention, and are interested only in the bottom line. They merely hear the sounds of words, but fail to grasp their meanings. They do not go to the deeper level in arguments. They use external distractions to excuse themselves from conversations. They will not have the patience to sit through complex technical presentations, and jump to findings and conclusions. It is risky to communicate with marginal listeners because they are not focused on the main ideas and often misunderstand their import.
EVALUATIVE LISTENERS Evaluative listeners literally assess the verbal content on the basis of words not paralinguistic or nonverbal cues. Generally, they use logic to understand the content, hence, they distance themselves emotionally from the subject. As a result, they do not show empathy or sensitivity to the speaker. They are mostly prejudiced and judgmental as they presume the meaning before actually the speaker completes a sentence.
BARRIERS TO ACTIVE LISTENING
Inadequate language base
Pre-judging the Speaker/the Speech
Negativity towards the Speaker