Think of your last conversation. If you remember what you said more clearly than what you heard, you probably need to work on your listening skills.
Listening is a sign of respect. It shows that you value what the speaker has to say. If you take the time to listen to someone, take the time to listen properly. Set aside what you are doing so you can focus on the speaker, showing them that they are important to you. This will encourage the speaker to crystallize his message instead of giving you a shortened and vague version. If you continue to focus on your work, you may miss key gestures or facial expressions that may indicate the speaker’s true feelings differ from his words.
It’s not always easy to focus on what a speaker is trying to say, especially if he has distracting idiosyncrasies. […]