Types of Listening Responses

All seven of the types of listening responses listed below can be used in the course of feedback and evaluation.  Using a mixture of responses will provide the most balanced supervision. 
  1. Reflective:  Responses that show an understanding of the thoughts and feelings that have been expressed by the student.
  2. Interpretive:  Responses that indicate that the supervisor understands on a deeper level than the words spoken the meaning of the event or feeling that the student is explaining (reporting).  Seeks to explain the dynamics of a situation.
  3. Supportive:  Responses that are intended to reassure and/or reduce anxiety. Responses that also can seek to inspire or to undergird a person.
  4. Evaluative:  Responses that indicate that the supervisor has made a judgments regarding the relative quality, appropriateness, effectiveness or “rightness” of the students actions, words or behavior (use of responses that suggest what the student might or ought to have done). Can carry a value judgment.
  5. Probing:  Responses that indicate that the supervisor’s intent is to query, to seek further information or provoke further discussion along a certain line.  Can be divided into probing for feelings and probing for information
  6. Advising:  Responses that indicate the supervisors’ intention is to recommend certain approaches, actions, or methods of reflection and response. An offer of constructive suggestions about coping with a situation.
  7. Teaching:  Responses that seek to impart information.

Self-Check: Types of Listening Responses

Next: Praise vs. Feedback