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Traits of Differing Non-Listeners

However, before we discuss your listening styles any further, let's identify some typical "non-listeners." The following represents a small group of listening profiles or personalities who, in fact, do not listen effectively.

The impatient listener continually interrupts to ask a question or express an opinion. This is the individual who suddenly thrusts his hand into the air and begins to wave it frantically. The speaker often has not finished a sentence or a thought when interrupted by this impatient listener. Being an inquisitive listener is a positive trait, where questions are asked at the appropriate time. The impatient listener usually asks questions at the wrong time, before all the facts or information are known.

The know-it-all is the listener who always insists on finishing your sentence or thought for you. He or she does not raise a hand but merely blurts out your concluding words from a sentence or phrase. Obviously, if this person is focused on completing your sentence, much of the information being transmitted will never be heard.

The jumper is the listener who jumps to conclusions before all of the information is known. If a speaker is giving a 15-minute talk, about five to 10 minutes into the discussion, this individual already has the answer or the conclusion without listening to the complete discussion.