Listening means hearing. You don’t have to agree with what you hear. All you need to do is make sure you understand what is being said.
1. Give your undivided attention. Don’t multi-task. Close your laptop, put away your phone, set aside your work.
2. Wait during a pause. Don’t interrupt or finish someone’s sentence, even if they pause. Let them find their own words.
3. Listen with curiosity. Ask clarifying questions to make sure you understand what they are saying.
4. Separate your reactivity from the message. If they say something that annoys you or if you strongly disagree, pause and reflect on what exactly bothers you. It is almost impossible to think logically when you are emotionally charged. Consider whether there is possibly a kernel of truth in the message or something worth investigating further.
5. Don’t start thinking of your response while you’re listening. Have faith that your best response will arise after they have expressed their thoughts. Pause before you response to see what arises in you.