In my experience, listening carefully is a practice of mindfulness that benefits both the speaker and the listener.
The speaker feels heard and knows he has been heard, and the listener gets a deeper picture of what the speaker is really saying.
I have also found that instead of thinking about what to say, I can often communicate more precisely and directly and look within myself for careful answers. You can listen to relaxing music at Awaken Mind.
How to listen carefully
The dynamics of attentive listening differ from "normal" listening in several important ways:
# You don't mentally process what other people say and you don't develop what you will say next.
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# Listen carefully – you create space to understand what the other is saying.
# They hear more informational content than what they say.
# You hear everything the other person says. This includes listening to the way they speak, the tone of their speech, the emotional content, the energy behind what they say, and their body language.
# You listen with your whole body. You use not only your ears, but also your eyes, your heart or your inner consciousness.
# When finished, pause before saying anything, then briefly acknowledge what they said without comment or judgment.
# You only continue to react when you have an inner feeling for something you want to share in response – it's not what you were thinking.