When we are communicating, we listen and speak alternately. How we listen (being a listener), how we speak (being a speaker) and when to say things are 3 important elements in effective communication.
1) Active listening – Collecting information
When others speak to you, stop your works on hand, pause all your thought in mind and focus on the speaker. Pay attention to their words (content), expressions in their eyes, voices, body gesture etc and try to see from their perspective. Imagine their emotions behind based on their situations, experiences and backgrounds etc. Don’t interrupt the speakers before they finish. Give them minimum responses such as saying uh huh, nod, smile, raise your eyebrow or other body language whichever appropriate.
Through active listening, we pick up more correct information from the speakers. We also show the speakers that we respect them, which makes them feel being appreciated or at least feel that they are matter to us.