WHAT IS YOUR LISTENING TYPE?
When you evaluate your last meeting with a donor; would you consider yourself a:
1. Competitive or Combative Listener
2. Passive or Attentive Listener or
3. Active or Reflective Listener?
Listener Type Definitions:
1. Competitive or Combative Listening occurs when we are more interested in promoting our own point of view than in understanding or exploring someone else’s view. Listening for openings to take the floor, or for flaws or weak points we can attack are trademark qualities.
If you are only pretending to pay attention while impatiently waiting for an opening, or internally formulating a rebuttal and planning a devastating comeback that will destroy their argument and make you the victor – you are in this category.
2. Passive or Attentive Listening happens when we are genuinely interested in hearing and understanding the other person’s point of view. Hearing and understanding correctly mark this listening style but you do not check in with the other person.
This will work as long as you stay passive and do not verify it.
3. Active or Reflective Listening is the single most useful and important listening skill in nonprofit development. In active listening you are also genuinely interested in understanding what the other person is thinking, feeling, wanting or what the message means, but you are also active in confirming your level of comprehension before responding with your own new message.
In this successful style, you restate or paraphrase your understanding of the message and restate it, in your own words, to the sender for verification. This verification or feedback process is what distinguishes active listening and makes it effective.