Effective listening requires concentration, tolerance and sensitivity. Concentration means focusing solely on what the speaker is saying. Tolerance involves keeping an open mind to what the other person is saying, rather than being judgmental or defensive. Sensitivity means taking on board the feelings being expressed as well as the words.

Under stress, you are less likely to listen well. It's a good habit to ask your partner to repeat what he or she has said if you doubt that you fully understood. Being a good listener means you will be kept better informed.

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