All conversations are made up of talking and listening – and both are equally important. It’s critical to listen – not just stop talking – when the other person or people in the meeting are talking. Don’t switch off or try to talk over them. You may learn something about them that you didn’t know, or see the situation from a different angle. The other person will feel heard and is more likely to be open to further discussion. If they see that you’re switched on and engaged with them, they're more likely to do the same for you.
To make sure you’re understanding, it can also help to repeat what you hear the other person saying. For example, try saying, “So this is what I’m hearing you say…” Ask open-ended questions to get more information, while reframing or clarifying as much as you can.