Have you ever been talking to someone and noticed that the person was not really listening? If so, it likely did not feel very good. The fact is, it’s easy to get distracted. But poor listening can hurt communication. It can lead to misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and clashes. But with practice, you can learn to become a better listener. Start by showing the speaker you hear them and care about what they are saying. Face the person who is talking to you. Put your cell phone away. Clear your mind and focus on the person fully. And stay engaged throughout your conversation.

Learning to listen can be hard work. But the more you do it, the easier it becomes. And that can make your bonds with others stronger.