One could listen in many ways. For starters, there could be the simplest form of listening, just registering words as they are, quite literally.
There could also be a listening that's like reading in-between the lines, so a more intimate kind of listening, a listening where one tries to understand the goal of the conversation, as if listening to the mind's conscious or unconscious desires.
Both these ways of listening strike me as analytical, and useful, because understanding how to listen, leads to healthier conversation, and healthier conversation, or communication, makes life easier, smoother.
So the state of the listener facilitates the type of listening. If the listener's mind is busy, the listening is scattered and not as effective, on the other hand, if the listeners mind is quiet, the listening is effective as there is enough space to truly digest the conversation. So the more space within, the calmer the mind, and the better the listening.
In this way of listening, mind does all the work, and the conversation is analyzed like a math problem.
There's another way to look at listening though, and that's listening through intuition, or heart, rather than mind. So a deeper listening, a listening rooted in intuition and presence, and in this way of listening, its as if one is listening to the space out of which words arise. In other words, we could maybe say listening to the state of one's unconscious (Unconscious in Jungian terms).
To listen in such manner, the mind must be quiet, open and relaxed. The whole body should actually be relaxed. I am here and now, present with every movement, be it a word or gesture.
This is where listening becomes interesting, and quite useful. Listening in such a way, gives the listener the opportunity to feel the conversation, and in feeling, there is transmission. So say you're listening to someone you admire, a wise person with a wealth of experience. If you listen in this way, where you are open and relaxed, you'll actually end up getting a taste of that person's state of being rather than just listening to words. And at the end of the day, getting that felt experience is what counts. I say so because feelings unfold at the core of our being, and if we seek to grow and evolve, it's how we feel that needs to change.