Active listening is a concept that incorporates listening skills and follow-up questions. It’s important to always have a listen-first approach if you are seeking to be constructive in a team environment. Then, if you have a point or a question, it’s best to attempt that point in the form of a question. The only time this isn’t true is if the question will be condescending. In that case, it is much better to just say your point clearly. Listening skills aren’t something that can just be implemented without practice. In fact, many top managers will tell you that active listening and constructive teamwork are much harder to achieve, with much better outcomes. For example, if you are in a team meeting and are the top manager, your goal is to make sure all the other people understand the core concepts and ideas. There is no way for you to know if this is true unless you ask questions and listen to the other people explain their perspective about the concepts. At that point, you can either explain how they need to change or take advice from them – or maybe, they have understood already. In any case, active listening is a core function of a good leader.