That's really nice!
You know listening is one of the hardest skills to learn. It seems so easy, but trying to listen *without judgement or anger* (as my counselor says) can be tough. Not interrupting, not seeing what they say from your point of view, but theirs... tough stuff! That's so cool that you really worked on doing that.
There are two really great books I've read that are good for opening your eyes to communication issues. One is by Deborah Tannen called "you just don't understand", which is about how men and women talk, hear and communicate differently and how misunderstandings happen so easily.
The other is by Michele Weiner-Davis and it's called "Change your life and everyone in it". The title is kind of stupid, because it's not really about changing someone else. It's about changing yourself (how you act, what you say, etc.) which in turn changes how the other person acts/reacts to you. It's a really valuable read, in my opinion, because it explains and shows how our actions/speech/etc. affect the other person and cause reactions. We have a big part in the interactions we have. Duh, I know, but sometimes I think we need to hear it again, LOL!