Even after you have begun to focus on the person with whom you are conversing, you may still experience many potential barriers to effective listening. Here are a few of them:
Phone calls, TV, pagers and things of that sort can make good listening nearly impossible.
If you view complaints or criticism as a personal attack, you can become defensive. Once you begin to protect yourself, you will care little about what others thing or how they feel.
When you think you have all the answers, you close you mind. And when you close your mind, you close your eyes.
Automatically attributing your own thoughts and feelings to others prevents you from perceiving how they feel.
When you jump to conclusions, you take away your own incentive to listen.
Thinking we have little to learn from others is, perhaps, the most deadly of distractions to listening. Being full of yourself leaves little room for input from others.