One of the greatest gifts we can give another person is to listen to them. Coaches are taught to listen for more than words - they listen for what's underneath the spoken words, the tone and pitch of voice, the quiver of a lip, the rate of breath, the energy of awareness.
All these subtle (and not so subtle) indications give us information about what we can be curious to and inquire about. Noticing and bringing attention the nuances of communication, promotes awareness.
4 tips for active listening:
Suspend judgement – have an open mind to what the person has to say without needing to defend your own thinking.
Be fully present – let all your focus and energy be on them, and nothing else.
Avoid offering solutions – practice being with the person and hearing them instead of giving your opinion of offering a fix.
Wait 3 seconds before you respond – giving space in a conversation encourages more dialogue. It allows the listener to respond to what the speaker has said instead of constructing responses before they have finished speaking.