Listening Skills: Five Types of Listeners

Listening a secret idea

Listening Skills seems to be the most neglected topic in most organizations.


To decide if your company or association stresses Listening Skills enough, please see if you can identify the five different types of characters that work around you.

I challenge you to tell me whether they are contributing to your bottom line or simply collecting paychecks.

See how many of these characters you recognize.

The Deer In The Headlights Listeners.

They’re looking at you, but you’re not sure they see you. If you feel that about them, you know they can’t be listening.

The Lights Are, But Nobody’s Home Listeners.

They are present, but they are definitely absent from the conversation.

The Hole In The Head Listeners. In one ear and out the other.

They are also known as The Teflon Listeners. Nothing sticks.

The Beatles Inspired Listeners.

If I say, “She loves you,” what response do you hear and feel?

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, means hurry up, I’m busy, and I really don’t care what you have to say.

Why is today’s workforce filled with these types of listeners?

Simple. Their backgrounds are completely devoid of any listening skills training at all.

As a matter of fact, studies show that 90% of all business people have had no listening skills training at all.

Good listening combats two enemies.

The first is assumption.

People assume that because they have two working ears, they know how to listen.

The second is training budgets. Most companies do not set aside any budget money to train their employees how to listen correctly.

Listening Skills training requires a Real Blended Learning approach to unlearn bad listening habits.

This includes awareness, hearing, observing, practicing, feedback, repetition, and follow-up.

You can accomplish all of these except the follow up in a rapid-fire, highly interactive, clearly focused 90-minute or three hour session.

If you would like more information on creating more productive employees, please call me at 412-561-7628.

That’s 412-561-7628.

Or, e-mail me at

Listen. I think this is something we should talk about.

Thank you.

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