Nobody expects to wake up one day and run a marathon. It is unrealistic for someone to master chess 6 months after they start playing. It is easy to recognize that achieving any of these feats requires steady practice and persistence that can span several years. Also, one must always push one’s self to get better. You could play chess against weak opponents for months while making as much progress as a broken record player.
Similarly, one does not turn into a good listener overnight. It takes years of practice, with a continuous thrust on getting better. And yet, not many people treat listening like a craft. Perhaps we need ratings that tell us how good we are at listening as well.
There are several crafts that hide in our everyday routines. Seeking them out allows us to get sharper with each conversation we have, each email we send and each meeting we pace.