Last night I had an opportunity to learn. I left the meeting frustrated and it was my fault. I attended a session on a topic hoping to be overwhelmed with great new information.

When it didn’t happen is where I failed.

I became anxious to get to something new. Somewhere along the way I lost my focus. When focus is lost you lose the opportunity to learn.

Read the list below and see where you fall in, what kind of listener are you?

I must have fallen into the category number one, the faker. Not my proudest moment.

1. The Faker-All the outward signs are there: nodding, making eye contact, and giving the occasional uh huh. However, the faker isn’t concentrating one the speaker. His mind is elsewhere.
2. The Interrupter-doesn’t allow the speaker to finish and doesn’t ask clarifying questions or seek more information from the speaker. He too is anxious to speak his words and shows little concern from the speaker.
3. The Intellectual or Logical Listener- This person is always trying to interpret what the speaker is saying and why. He is judging the speaker’s words and trying to fit them into his logic box. He rarely asks about the underlying feeling or emotion attached to a message.
4. The Happy Hooker-The happy hooker uses the speaker’s words only as a way to get to his message. When the speaker says something, and frankly, it could be anything, the happy hooker steals the focus and then changes to his own point of view, opinion, story, or facts. Favorite hooker lines are, “Oh, that’s nothing, here’s what happened to me”… “I remember when I was”…
5. The Rebuttal Maker-These listeners only listen long enough to make a rebuttal. His point is to use the speakers “words against him”. At his worst, he is argumentative and wants to prove you wrong. At the least, the person always wants to make the speaker see the other point of view.
6. The Advice Giver-Giving advice is sometimes helpful, however, at other times, this behavior interferes with good listening, because it does not allow the speaker to fully articulate his feelings or thoughts; it doesn’t help the speaker solve his own problems; it prohibits venting; it could also belittle the speaker by minimizing his concern with a quick solution. Well-placed advice is an important function of a salesperson. However, advice given to quickly and at the wrong time is a turnoff to the speaker.