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According to Merriam-Webster, hearing is defined as the "process, function, or power of perceiving sound; specifically: the special sense by which noises and tones are received as stimuli." While listening is described as "paying attention to sound; to hear something with thoughtful attention; and to give consideration."
As you can see, there's a huge distinction between listening and hearing. Hearing is an inherent function, while listening is one of many communication skills. To break it down further, there are various types of listening. For example, there's appreciative listening, comprehensive listening, evaluative listening, and empathic listening. In this article, we'll being taking a deeper dive into critical listening.
Critical listening is listening to evaluate the message from the speaker. Part of being a critical listener is effective listening-- listening to all parts of the conversation (from the big picture to the small details), analyzing the message, and coming to your own conclusion.
When engaging in critical listening, you're also tapping into your critically thinking skills. That means not taking everything at face value. You make judgments and inferences based on what you hear and see from the speaker. Essentially, it's your job to fact-check and valid what is being said.
Now, that you've got a fair idea about critical listening, it's time to start building up your critical listening skills with your team. Remember, only rigorous practice will help you become an effective critical listener and build your team management skills .
When engaging in critical listening, you're also critically thinking. You're making mental judgments based on what you see, hear, and read. Here's how critical listening will positively impact your critical thinking skills. For example:
We've all had painful experiences of being ignored or misunderstood. Not to mention grappling with various forms communications like asynchronous and synchronous. However, before we start communicating we have to first hone out listening skills. After all, the greatest gift one human can give to another is listening, to be exact critically listening.