There is a very big difference between hearing and listening. Listening is the most used skill for communicating, but most people have never been taught how to do so effectively. In all actuality, Listening is a learned skill and is essential not only in business but in all areas of life
Give whoever is talking Your undivided attention. This means maintaining full eye contact and eliminating mental and physical distractions.
Stay open minded. This will create a win/win situation. Listen objectively and empathically.
Avoid interruptions! Interrupting only creates barriers that lead to ineffective communication. Plus, you can not listen effectively if you are anticipating what you will say and waiting for a break to jump in.
Involve yourself. Remember that hearing is a passive action and Listening is active. Do this by taking notes, offering feedback or maintaining eye contact.