If you want to make life easier for yourself, your bosses, your colleagues and your employees, learn to HEAR what they are saying. Because often what people say is not quite what they mean to say.
To be a good listener, work on developing the following habits:
1) Do not multi-task – give the person your full attention
2) Don’t interrupt, don’t react, don’t volunteer your opinion – wait for a natural lull to ask your questions
3) Ask clarifying questions without making any judgements – avoid passive aggressive language
4) Listen with your eyes as well as your ears – watch their eyes and facial expressions
5) Re-state what they are saying back to them using their own words and expressions – if appropriate