Last week I listened to an unbelievable podcast with a guy named Eric Maddox, an Iraq war veteran with a really compelling backstory. Link here if you'd like to hear the whole story.
More specifically, Eric explains a methodology he titles Effective Listening. His thesis is that listening is extraordinarily difficult, and therefore most of us don't do it well. (Agree wholeheartedly.) He breaks down barriers to listening into groups of distractions - e.g. Personal biases, short-term physical distractors, lack of topic familiarity, listener objectives or agendas, etc.
Of course I couldn't stop there, so I bought a brand new book from Amazon called Listening Well: The Art of Empathic Listening to add another dimension to the approach. I'm about 60% through and it's already a treasure trove as well.
Listening well is an extraordinarily difficult skill I'm determined to hone. Will report back with results once I have the chance to really put this to work.