Notice what you are telling yourself while you are listening. Are you commenting on how bored you are? Are you trying to think of how you are going to respond to what they are saying?
If you are thinking about how boring the other person is, surrender these thoughts the best you can. Then challenge yourself to find something interesting about what the other person is saying or how they are saying it.
If you are thinking about how you will respond, let it go. Trust yourself to have an appropriate response when it is your turn to talk. By letting it go, you can listen better. By hearing more of what is said, you can give a better response.
You can also practice listening when you are alone. Listen to the sounds around you. If you are in a quiet enough space, you may hear your own breathing. Listen to the sounds in the room. How many different sounds are there? Listen to the sounds outside your window. Listen to the sounds that are close by. Then listen to the sounds that are far away. At this point, you may notice that your mind is quieter. As you continue this practice over the days and weeks to come, you will be able to tune into your quiet mind during your next conversation.
©2016 Stephen L. Martin