The ability to listen is often taken for granted and as a given natural ability. Yet, the focus on children's education at school is still on reading and writing leaving active listening up to parents to deal with.
Richard Branson's father taught him to listen more than talk (which is a great way to focus on what the other person is saying). Something that we can all practice everyday and in all areas of our lives, as Richard Branson does to this day.
For Seth Godin active listening involves interaction and questioning. I would suggest that you ask questions in a gentle way, just for the sake of clarification, not to come across as being on a defensive.
Julian Treasure uses the RASA acronym which in Sanskrit means essence. You can use it too when you want to really listen to someone with your undivided attention.
Receive (pay attention to what the person is saying)
Appreciate (make genuine little noises like "hmm," "oh," "OK")
Summarize (use the word "so" to give space for the person to clarify)
Ask questions (when you have the opportunity to do so but do it in a gentle way)
Angela Ahrendts remind us the importance of listening with empathy, making good eye contact and giving a touch of hand. When you do what you feel comfortable with and is fully present the communication will flow nicely.