You have almost certainly heard before that we should spend more time listening and less time speaking. Whereas the natural urge in most conversations (particularly arguments) is to want to speak your mind, listening is a far more valuable skill. While most people are trying to figure out how best to respond while “listening,” a far more effective approach is what’s called “active listening.” Listening carefully can help us learn and challenge deeply held assumptions while simultaneously gaining us credence with the other person. Indeed, the only real way to convince someone of something is to make sure that person feels like they are being taken seriously. And you won’t convince anyone you’re taking them seriously by simply thinking of the best way to respond to whatever they say.