Most people focus on their speaking and communication skills. However, communication is a two way process. It involves both speaking as well as listening. You need to be a good listener so that people warm up to you and build a good rapport with you. Listening is important so that you become an alert and aware person too.
Some people are naturally good listeners, and some have to develop their skills. It may take a conscious and consistent effort to develop this skill. Make it your aim to hear and understand what others are saying. Be receptive and open-minded.
Do not block your mind or let it be preoccupied with other thoughts. Focus and pay attention to what the other person is saying. It may be possible that your mind may drift away, but you have to make an effort to bring it back everytime it loiters.
Self-disciplining is very essential. When someone is talking to you, you need to stop talking. There may be a temptation to say something or counter argue. Exercise restraint and stop yourself from interrupting the speaker. You may ask relevant and pertinent questions or mention your view after having heard the other person fully.
Controlling impatience and restlessness will be beneficial. You could practice this daily by listening to news on radio. Tune your mind to what is being said, and be alert to it. Later on try to recollect what all you heard, so that you can test how good your listening skills are and how much you need to improve.
Taking interest will also help you to be a good listener. However, the interest must be genuine. Do not let your mind follow a monotonous path and block everything else. Have an open mind and be receptive to different opinion, contrary views and unconventional topics or issues.