It’s common for us to focus on the one who is actively speaking when we think about two individuals communicating. Professional Etiquette Training highlights that communication is a two-way street, though, and that a one-sided discussion seldom results in significant progress. When you hear someone or something but not giving your full focus to listening, you are passively listening. This form of communication is largely unilateral. Often, a person who is listening inactively won’t comment on what they are hearing or what the person speaking is saying.
What Indicates Passive Listening?
For a variety of reasons, someone could not be listening to what is being stated. They might not be interested, distracted, concerned with other things, or engaged in something altogether else.
Passively listening individuals can lose interest when they become overstimulated by the talk. Someone who is unable to follow what is being said may cease participating completely if they feel anxious about doing so.
When someone is only listening passively, it’s frequently rather simple to tell. Compared to someone who is attentively listening, their body language is noticeably different. Some of the warning signals to watch out for are as follows.
- keeping their eyes closed.
- swerving away
- the use of a computer or phone.
- Frequently forgetting what was stated earlier.
- seeming to be bored
- seeming disoriented
- not participating in the discourse when it is appropriate.
What Situations Call for the Use of Passive Listening?
There are many occasions in which passive listening isn’t a smart idea, but there are also many situations in which it is. In general, passive listening in one-on-one or small group settings is unpleasant in addition to being counterproductive. It might give the speaker the impression that their words are worthless, and it can imply that those to whom the information is pertinent are not receiving it entirely. That doesn’t mean, however, that there aren’t any circumstances in which passive listening is a sensible strategy.
What Are the Differences Between Passive and Active Listening?
As you can see, passive listening and active listening are mutually exclusive. Let’s see how the two compare specifically.
- It is difficult to tell whether or not a passive listener understands what is being stated because they don’t offer input or raise questions. Active listeners will show that they are understanding what is being said by nodding, asking questions, displaying favorable body language, and other behaviors.
- A passive listener doesn’t show enthusiasm and instead comes out as unfocused or disinterested. A good listener, on the other hand, communicates enthusiasm through eye contact, body language, and other means.
- An active listener will focus on every word that is spoken, as opposed to a passive listener who may only catch fragments of what is said.
- Active listening is a two-way dialogue as opposed to passive communication, which is typically one-way.
- The difference between active and passive listening is that the latter might lead to a greater knowledge of the issue.
- While active hearing demands a lot of work, passive listening doesn’t.
Speaking and listening are equally important for good communication. A successful business must prioritize listening, an essential but sometimes undervalued component of the Communication And Interpersonal Skills of employees and employers. For managers and business owners, knowing the difference between passive and active listening may be quite helpful.