Since I've been half-deaf all my life, and a writer most of my life, I've learned to listen. And it's possible that what I've learned can help you:
- Don't answer your phone during meetings. You can pretend to pay attention to two conversations. I can't. I'm glad.
- Look at the person who's talking. I lip read. You don't need to do that, but if you watch a person's face, you'll hear more of what they're saying. You'll also hear what they're not saying.
- If you miss something, ask people to repeat it. Trust me: They'd rather repeat themselves than be misunderstood.
To sum it up: Focus. You'll hear the difference.