When should you be listening critically?

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The goal of critical listening is to make a rational and objective evaluation. It demands attentive listening and an internal dialogue based around four key questions:

1. Do I know what is motivating the speaker?

2. Are the assertions supported by convincing evidence?

3. Is the case fuelled by emotion or reason?

4. Is the argument comprehensive or selective?

Critical listening aims to get behind the issues of personality and emotive language, focusing on the content. The four key questions are based around understanding the case but to be truly effective in critical listening the person doing it must also be sensitive to their own presuppositions and motivations.

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