When I started out as a reporter, I had to learn to really listen, which didn’t come easily to me.

I’m from a family that loves to and , and I’m naturally opinionated.

Early in my career, I found myself frequently interrupting my subjects, but when I played back the tapes of my interviews, I realized that not only were many of my interjections totally unnecessary, but they were also preventing my subjects from revealing information that might have been newsworthy or profound.

I gradually learned to just be quiet. What I most want from a conversation with others, whether they share my politics or loathe them, is understanding. It doesn’t mean you hide what you think or refrain from pressing someone who’s being unclear or .

But it does mean the purpose of the exchange is to tease out what a person truly believes rather than to win an argument, them, or show them up.