Search for the elephant in the room
Not everything that our stakeholders say will be immediately clear. Sometimes, we need to look deeper than their actual words to derive their intended meaning. The important part of listening is to hear what isn’t being said. You have to try to understand both what they’ve expressed out loud as well as what never came out of their mouths.
What’s the subtext? What is the elephant in the room that no one really wants to mention? Often, what people say and what they mean can be two completely different things.