Listening is incredibly important. “Observation” is probably a better term than “listening,” but a lot of communication between humans is verbal, so when you’re sussing out other people it’s probably listening that’s doing most of the work. Anyway, listening is really important – but not just for the sake of listening.
Tangent: Lots of animals hunt in really cool ways. It isn’t always about being really fast and biting something. One of my favorites is the way leopards hunt. Sure, sometimes they do the “run and bite” method, but a lot of time they just chill in a high tree. For a long time. Without moving. And then eventually some particular animal will walk directly under where the leopard is chilling and POW, the thing just drops out of the tree and kills its prey.
End tangent. Listening for action is like chilling in that tree. See, the tree thing only works if you’re both patient and attentive. Anyone can chill in a tree and let their mind wander or take a nap. But being able to be quietly observant, ready to take advantage of opportunity when it arises, is a practiced skill.
The whole “waiting for your turn to talk” thing isn’t just rude. It’s foolish. The world is constantly giving you information that your own brain doesn’t already have, so tell your own brain to pipe down and let you look for antelope. When the opportunity walks under your tree, you want to hear it.