Listening Style: People-Oriented, Content-Oriented, Action-Oriented, and Time-Oriented Listening

Listening Style or PACT Listening: People-oriented listeners, content-oriented listening, action-oriented listening, and time-oriented listening. Four types of Listeners.

The Listener Preference Acronym PACT represents the four types of listening preferences presented. The four types of listening style are People-oriented listeners, content-oriented listening, action-oriented listening, and time-oriented listening.

Four types of Listening Style:

  1. People-oriented listeners
  2. Action-oriented listeners
  3. Content-Oriented Listeners
  4. Time-Oriented Listeners
  1. People-oriented listeners

Listeners demonstrate people-oriented preferences when they show care and concern for others’ feelings, emotional and try to find areas of common interest. Listeners are very Sensitive to others. They try to find areas of interest between themselves and the speaker—telling a personal story to calm down members who may be upset and angry. These kinds of listeners may also become distracted by others’ problems. They may engage in too many side conversations during meetings.

For example, an audience is crying for listening to the pathetic history of Mother Teresa.

Strategies for Communicating with People-Oriented Listeners: Use emotional examples and appeals, Use “we” rather than “I” in conversations.

2. Action-oriented listeners:

Listeners demonstrate action-oriented preferences when they jump ahead to get the point quickly. They give clear feedback concerning expectations. They also encourage others to be organized and concise. Less likely to pay attention to the relational communication dimension of a message

Strategies for Communicating with Action-Oriented Listeners: Keep main points to three or fewer, Speak at a rapid but controlled rate.

3. Content-Oriented Listeners:

Listeners demonstrate content-oriented preferences when they test or evaluate facts and evidence. They pay more attention to technical information rather than general information. Content-Oriented Listeners enjoy receiving complex or challenging information. They are very careful to evaluate information before forming an opinion about the information by asking questions.

For example, an audience just raises his hand and asks the speaker that may we have an example regarding this issue.

Strategies for Communicating with content-oriented Listeners: Use two-side arguments when possible.

4. Time-Oriented Listeners:  

Listeners demonstrate time-oriented preferences when they let others know how much time they have to listen or tell others how long they have to meet.

For Example: Manage and save time, Set time guidelines for meetings and conversations, Discourage wordy speakers, Give cues to others when time is being wasted.

Strategies for Communicating with Time-Oriented Listeners:  Ask how much time the person has to listen

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