It's an art.

It costs thousands if not millions of dollars

in mis communication.

It's absence rubs plenty of people

the wrong way and worse,

many near and dear relationships will die

a natural death over the years

because the people involved failed to listen to each other.

But listening is a skill that many of us lack.

We have agenda's.

We want to be the one's to throw in the last words.

On this post,

we are going to learn about

the 3 types of listening and

how to be concious and aware of which one

is taking charge and finally

how this one skill can make you a fortune

if you give it the attention it seeks.


There's a reason we have

2 ears and one mouth.

To talk less and listen more.

Before we delve in to

the art of listening,

lets first go over the different types of listening.

  1. Predatory/Attack Listening-Listening to respond
  2. Inquisitive/Consultative Listening-Listening to learn and understand
  3. Trigger/Zoned Out Listening-Passive Listening for contextual keywords.

1. Predatory/Attack Listening

It's really not listening but more waiting.

You have an agenda and dang it

you are going to be heard.

You will forcefully say what you have to say

wether they llike it or not.

You don't care about

what the other party has to say.

You don't care how they respond

your main agenda is to have

your message relayed.

You are listening to attack.

At times you even interrupt

becuase what the other person is saying

is trivial,nonesense unimportant.

Whats the problem with that?

It triggers defensive listening by both parties.

How responsive do you think

the other party will be

if you are only listening to attack?

How effective will your communication be?

How closer are you to your end goal?

Aaaah there's something to think about.

Your goal…(we'll cover this in more detail)

2. Inquistive/Consultative Listening.

Listeining to understand.

You are silent as a vacuum.

You're absorbing every detail

being relayed by the other party.

You either nod or ask probing questions.

It is the most profitable form of listening.

It allows you to deeply connect

with the other party and more important

it allows the other party to feel understood.

The world would definitely be a better place

if more of us practised this form of listening.

The additional beauty is that

when we actively listen

we also allow the other party to

listen to us when we speak.

It is truly the most fulfilling

active form of communication.

Therapists use this,

consultants(the world class ones) use this

and guess who also uses this….

yep interogators and the police.

First of all i don't even know why

they call them interogators

because one ineffective way of

extracting information is through torture.

When someone is in heightened situations

of joy or pain, they may say anything

just to terminate or extend the sensation.

Ever met exteremely drunk poetic romantics?

How about innocent toeless murders

who would rather metaphorically

"Kill" than lose another toe?

Coercion and manipulation?

Not on this form of listening.

Here the key driver is authenticity

and desire to deeply understand.

 3. Trigger/Zoned Out Listening

Huh? I thought you said

"Don't forget to try the steak"

Honey I said "Don't forget to buy the cake"

Now why would anyone remind you

not to forget to try some unknown steak

when there's a birthday party

for 15 15 minutes?

Guys do this all the time.

We listen to spatial keywords

and then try to extrapolate

the context of the message.

It's a lack of presence…

Its lack of full participation

it's trying to ,multitask….

and it annoys the heck

out of the people relaying the message

because worse than interruption

is pretending to listen….


Jack had a consulting business

he had been in Information Technology 

designing healthcare inventory systems 

for over 9 years….

he decided that after making the company

over $9 million in earned revenue

his networth was barely even close to that….

he was an implementer( more on another post)

so he decided to leave…..

the company tried to low ball him

by promising to raise his stake

but he wondered why

they hadn't done it sooner

if he was that valuable…

he stuck to his plan….

he had done enough market validation

to know what he was going to offer….

since he had signed a non compete in his contract

he knew better than try to sell the same solutions 

he did as an employee…

for the 9 years he worked..

he had listened to his clients every word

he had taken down notes

charted out solutions and saved up a little seed money

for his next project….

he knew that healthcare systems didn't integrate well

with plenty of other softwares….

and he knew webhooks were a joke….

the API went down every now and then

and when dealing with sensitive and pertinent data

time,effciency and deliverability were key…

so instead of globalizing that he had the solution….

he listened to what cleints were complaining about…

and he fixed it even as a consultant…

because….that is what they wanted….

after they were satisfied….

he would ask then if they wanted to

Beta test a solution he was working on

and then he would listen to their feedback…

and iterate and gather more feedback…

it took him a year and a half

to finally go live…

by then he already had the market

ready with contracts for enterprise licences

what he did differently is that he

listened more to his market than his former employer

the funny thing is…..his employer finally went broke…

their inability to articulate what their customers wanted

cost them in lost contracts….

Jack bought out his old company….

in 4 moves he had catapulted from 

being an implementer to

being the visionary he was(the highest form of earning)

all because he practiced number 2(above) listening…..

Your turn……

Lee Kariuki
Lee Kariuki

Systems and strategy. I grow businesses by simplifying them. What do your customers want, and what’s in their way? Simple right? Reach me at