Bryant H. McGill
As a civilized society, our main tool of survival is communication. We talk at others and every once in a while we hear to what they say during our pauses. We listen to them, mainly waiting for our turn to keep talking.
Conversations are not about you talking and the other person hearing you out. That is called a monologue. You have to learn to listen. You have to listen so completely and attentively, that you are listening not to the words, but to the feeling of what is being conveyed, not to part of it but to the whole of it. Remember that words are only part of what is being told. You don’t have to agree with the person, but you do have to understand where the message is coming from. Listening is such a simple act that requires intense practice. It requires you to be present in the now of the conversation, and that takes discipline. We don't have to do anything; we don't have to advise, or coach, or sound wise. We just have to be willing to sit there and listen.
You will be surprised just how much that is appreciated by people.