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Content-Oriented Listener Style and Related Skills


Listening styles refer to the general way in which a person attends to other people’s messages. Vickery and Ventrano (2020) explain that understanding various listening modes and the appropriate time to implement them helps individuals enhance their communication skills and better listeners. Although people might assume that being a good hearer is automatic, there are different listening styles (Vickery & Ventrano, 2020). Since I am a content-oriented listener, I focus on understanding the style’s definition, advantages, and disadvantages.

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Listeners who are content-oriented focus on the piece of information being communicated. Kobiruzzaman (2021) states that these individuals aim to understand whether the message makes sense, is accurate, or means. For instance, I pay less attention to the person conveying the message, their thoughts, or feelings but critically analyze the information being communicated (Corps et al., 2018). Additionally, I am an example of content-oriented hearers because I listen to presidential speeches to focus on my political perspectives. Content-oriented listeners assess other people by their credibility and test their truthfulness and expertise.

Evidence and facts are the most crucial parts of this listening style because hearers probe the details of the narrators’ data. Therefore, Corps et al. (2018) assert that communicators should not omit essential points because they can leave the audience with inaccurate or incomplete views. For example, I find a narrator sounding like an infomercial if they fail to describe the whole scenario. This is because I expect to hear information that is well developed and supported by solid explanations and proofs. In addition, I am cautious in my examination because I aim to understand soundproof and cause and effect before accepting, deciding, or making conclusions.


Content-oriented listeners can be described as learners because they carefully listen and ask questions to acquire more information and enhance their understanding. As a result, Kobiruzzaman (2021) expounds that they enjoy credibility because they have thorough, objective, and balanced methods of engaging with the communicated information. Individuals who are content-oriented have a high possibility of making the right decisions and judgments. The reason is that they carefully scrutinize the data provided (Kobiruzzaman, 2021). Judges and politicians can fit best in this listening style.


People who focus on deriving accurate results from the information provided are likely to experience various drawbacks. Corps et al. (2018) explain that individuals who lack similar analytical orientation might feel frustrated and annoyed because content-oriented people ask many questions to develop actual data. For example, sometimes, I argue with my colleagues over different ideas and thoughts. Additionally, the conversation is likely to take longer than the narrator expected because content hearers hope to hear every detail and understand it (Corps et al., 2018). The ideas developed after listening can be viewed as hostile or challenging to the communicator or other individuals in the audience.


In summary, listening skills help a person improve their conversing skills with other people and become good hearers. Content listeners focus on getting detailed information from the communicator without considering their thoughts, feelings, or perspectives. These individuals critically evaluate and assess the data provided before they decide. There is a high possibility that their examination results are credible because content-oriented people use thorough and objective approaches. However, this listening style might annoy the narrator, and the other audience is time-consuming and can develop unfriendly ideas.


Vickery, A. J., & Ventrano, S. (2020). Listening goals and parasocial relationships: How listening styles impact the development of parasocial relationships with media personas. International Journal of Listening. Web.

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Corps, R. E., Crossley, A., Gambi, C., & Pickering, M. J. (2018). Early preparation during turn-taking: Listeners use content predictions to determine what to say but not when to say it. Cognition, 175, 77-95. Web.

Kobiruzzaman, A. M. M. (2021). 4 types of listening styles are people, content, action, and time Orientation. Web.

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