Listening is a very important part of verbal communication, because, a communication cannot be complete without a feedback and a feedback cannot be given without a patient and attentive listening. Even a one-way communication like radio or TV shows, expect feedback in the form of a telephone call, email etc., from the viewers.
The benefits of listening in verbal communication can never be over-stated. It benefits both the sender of the message and the receiver of the message. By having understood the message in full the receivers actions and response will be on expected lines of the sender. Wrong communication is avoided by being attentive when a message is received. Questions and doubts will arise only when the message is understood. And this is possible only by listening.
Listening is a process probably well understood by few. The distinction between hearing and listening should clarify a lot of doubts in the process of listening. What is not understood by the receiver of a message can only a superficial hearing and not listening. To listen one has to pay careful attention to what is said and understand the full import of the message. This requires a lot of patience too.
Understanding the distractions to listening is very crucial and the sender should avoid sending a message when the environment or surroundings are not conducive for this. One of the major distractions to listening is the receiver lost in thought either from the initial part of the communication or on an entirely different subject. The thought races ahead of the listener and assumptions on the messages are possible. Communications with a lot of ambient noise will also lead to wrong messages being received.