The vast majority of people think they are good listeners. Instead of gratifying your ego with self-indulgent reassurance, take a survey to figure out if you're a good listener. Find out the true state of your listening skills from objective evidence or those who will be brutally honest with you.
Learning to listen is one of the most important skills to develop when negotiating. Before a negotiation, know the specific areas where you want to gather information. Listen attentively during the meeting. Get the most information you can, and you will have a successful negotiation.
Check your bad listening habits at the door. Always expect to find something of value from the other person. The rewards of good listening skills are amazing.
Stated affirmatively, here are some tips for becoming a good listener:
If you experience communication problems during a negotiation, it's probably because you or the other party wasn't listening. Part of the listening process involves interaction between the two parties. Don't be afraid to ask questions as you gather your information. When you ask questions, you refine the information you have received from the other party. Questions are a real power tool. If you don't get the information you want to receive, ask a follow-up question. And never, ever interrupt someone who is trying to answer a question you have asked.
Whatever you do, don't accept any substitutes for the information you are seeking. Some folks will try to dodge a question or make a strong general statement instead of answering your specific question. If someone responds to your question without answering it, ask it a little differently. But don't let them off the hook.