We all recognise that good listening means sitting silently, making eye contact, questioning and, when necessary, paraphrasing what you heard. However the best listeners go deeper by trying to understand the substance of what the other person is staying.
This can be achieved by:
Asking questions to clarify your understanding and push the other person to better articulate their position.
Examining any assumptions they’re making, and see the issues in new light.
Empathising and validating any emotions the speaker is conveying, making sure they feel supported.
Offering thoughts and ideas about the topic that could be useful to the other person. Just be careful not to highjack the conversation so that you or your agenda becomes the subject of the discussion.