Effective listening takes practice; it’s actually a discipline. It doesn’t come easily or naturally. Listening means more than just hearing what a person says.
A counselor I know expressed the difference like this: "Hearing captures the words a person speaks; listening captures the meaning and the feeling beneath those words."
Listening is the mental step by which we become more aware of the other person than we are of ourselves.
The best definition of listening I ever came across is that given by Norman H. Wright, who wrote, “Listening is not thinking about what you are going to say when the other person has stopped talking."