Listening can take many forms. In this section we will discuss critical, discriminative, therapeutic, appreciative, and courteous listening.

Critical Listening
Critical listening involves analyzing and interpreting a message. As one Houston Translation worker explained, analysis requires judging the message for facts, documentation, logic, relationships, inferences, personal biases, unsupported opinions, and other qualities of reason and truth. We use this form of listening whenever people try to persuade us to their point of view.

Discriminative Listening
All of us hope people are listening indiscriminately when we’re explaining a concept, giving instructions, describing a process, outlining a proposal, giving a report, lecturing, or otherwise speaking informatively. Discriminative listening involves comprehension and recall. As a discriminative listener, Washington D.C. translation services workers suggest that you should listen for details, grasp the thesis, understand relationships, follow sequences, develop questions and answers, summarize main points, evaluate ideas, store information, recall main points, and give feedback – essential skills in college and business .

Therapeutic Listening
Therapeutic listening involves listening with empathy; that is, with understanding of another’s feelings, beliefs, and values. In contrast to critical and discriminative listening, which call for judging and evaluating, therapeutic listening is nonjudgmental, calling instead for supportive and sympathetic verbal and nonverbal feedback. As defined by a French translator in Chicago, Therapeutic listening is the form of listening used when employees have work-related or personal problems, when your friends need someone to talk to, when children need a good listener, or whenever someone wants to talk something out.

Feedback in therapeutic listening serves to keep the person talking. Verbal feedback would include comments like: “I see,” “What did you do then?” “What do you think made you react that way?” “Uh huh.” “Yes.” Nonverbal feedback would include sympathetic gestures, smiles, nods, and leaning toward the speaker. Therapeutic listening creates an atmosphere that lowers the speaker’s defenses, allowing the speaker to verbalize whatever is troubling him or her.

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