Listening involves more skill than merely hearing a person’s words. When you are in a position to be an ally, work on your deep listening skills, which can help put you in a position to understand, support, and learn. Adversarial listening, on the other hand, positions you to defend, resist, or oppose. When a person is talking, you should not be preparing your rebuttal or interrupting. Instead, listen for understanding and reflect or paraphrase what the speaker said. Check your perceptions throughout the conversation, ask open-ended questions that will invite discussion, and be aware of your body language as you react to the speaker (via Interaction Institute for Social Change).
The general life skill of active listening also comes in handy when being a great LGBTQ+ ally. Put away devices, make eye contact, and respond to the speaker to affirm that you are listening. If you have been deeply listening, you should be able to respond with feedback or follow-up questions to support moving the conversation forward and help the speaker feel understood (via Colorado State University Global).