They say... two ears but only one mouth cause listening is twice as difficult as talking. The Empty Can- Silent Power with Paul Green
Like critical thinking, analytical listening is a powerful skill that can be learned. Toastmasters is a great place to practise this as the leadership strand is designed especially for to provide professional skills.
Listening also includes keeping up to date with industry developments from sources newspaper or television- reports, and most particularly internet. MAKE NOTES
This is how we acquire the information with which to make decisions, resolve conflict and foster team-work and effectivity. Listening to team-members and industry associates is a valuable source of potential ideas and opportunities for innovation
Being heard and respected increases motivation and good spirits, it encourages creativity and productivity.
Listening is also particularly relevant to customer/consumer relationships. Assumptions about consumer needs are. Many arts related industries are notorious for deciding what the customer wants by assumption. Which leads to the dumbing down affect you see in America. Humour that is not funny for example.
"We have spent a lot of our modern lives working at tuning out all of the information that is thrust at us. It therefore becomes important to change our physical body language from that of a deflector to that of a receiver, much like a satellite dish.
Listening Skill: "Thoughts move about four times as fast as speech. With practice, while you are listening you will also be able to think about what you are hearing, really understand it, and give feedback to the speaker."