Poor Listening Habits
People who give the appearance of being attentive, with smiles, head-nods, minimal responses, etc., but behind this polite facade, they are ignoring or not attending to the other person.
People who are only interested in expressing their own ideas, and who don’t care about what others have to say on the subject. Stage hogs do not listen to the other person, but give short speeches.
People who listen only to parts of a message that interest them and reject or ignore everything else. Selective listeners have their own agenda of interesting and valuable topics and disregard or are disinterested in others’ agendas.
Filling in the Gaps
People who like to think that what they have heard actually makes a whole, coherent story, even when it may not. These people manufacture information to fill in the gaps of incomplete information, distorting the intended message.
Assimilation to Prior Messages
People who always interpret messages in terms of similar messages remembered from the past. These people push, pull, chop, and squeeze messages in order to make sure that they are consistent with prior messages. These people need to remember that communicators and their communication styles are in a continual process of change.
The opposite of selective listeners, insulated listeners are people who actively avoid or ignore certain topics. When that topic arises in the conversation, they turn off.
People who take innocent comments as personal attacks. Defensive listening creates impressions of insecurity and a lack of confidence.
People who listen very carefully. However, they do so to collect information that can be used against the other person (like a cross-examining attorney). These people are constantly looking to ambush and trap the other person in their own ideas and words, usually to prove or support a strong personal belief of their own. Ambushing causes others to be defensive.
People who are not able to listen beyond the face value of the other’s words. These people rarely pick-up on hidden meanings or subtle nonverbal cues.