We often think of listening as an ‘on’ and ‘off’ thing. This model from Julie Starr’s Coaching Manual suggests different
From: The Coaching Manual by Julie Starr
Cosmetic Listening – think of the times when you’re speaking to someone who is more focussed on the email that just arrived in their inbox.
Conversational Listening – the stuff of social interaction. You’re involved in the conversation with some focus on the person you’re listening to.
Active Listening – your focus is more on the person you’re listening to than you and your thoughts. This is the minimum level for management conversations.
Deep Listening – is not something to aim for. It happens when you lose a sense of your own thoughts as you focus completely on the other person
Try it for yourself.
Notice where your focus is in your listening – you may even want to imagine a line (representing where your focus is) between you and the person you’re listening to.