What’s the best way to be a good listener?

Seth Godin (Founder at Yoyodyne Entertainment)
Seth’s Blog: Advice or criticism?

Here’s a simple way to process advice: Try it on. Instead of explaining to yourself and to your advisor why an idea is wrong, impossible or merely difficult, consider acting out what it would mean. Act as if, talk it through, follow the trail. Turn the advice into a new business plan, or a presentation you might give to the board. Turn the advice into three scenarios, try to make the advice even bolder…

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
When you’re given advice, here’s how to listen with an open mind | A Founder’s Notebook

In my experience, two factors enable you to listen to advice with an open mind: (i) Never forget that you are the decision maker. Whatever advice you get (and “try on”), the decision is still yours. (ii) Never give your opinion about the advice, or make a decision, on the spot. If you do that you’ll get you into an argument, and lose your feeling of being the decision maker.

Angela Ahrendts (VP of Retail at Apple, CEO of Burberry)
Asking questions to build relationships | A Founder’s Notebook

Questions invite conversations, stimulate thinking, break down barriers, create positive energy and show your willingness to understand and learn. Questions show humility, acknowledgement and respect for the past, and give you greater insights into both the business and individuals. And don’t be afraid to ask personal questions or share a few of your personal details.

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
How to be a better listener | A Founder’s Notebook

I frequently listen with the intent to solve the problem. So I tried [listening with intent to agree], and it worked. I’ve also found a work-around to being a bad listener: I ask questions in writing using email and Google docs. I find it easier to read and re-read than to listen.