In a recent blog post I talked about dealing with difficult people.  As a follow-up I am writing some posts about communication skills.  I will start by reviewing communication blockers.  These are all the things we do when we are not willing to communicate directly with another person. 
This is a list of ways in which we may block communication from occurring.  If we are not listening fully than we are not engaged with the other person.  Take a look at the list and see what blockers you use. 
When you interrupt you do not allow the other person to tell their side which indicates that you are not interested in what they are saying.
If you ignore the other person you are totally disengaged from the communication process.
Sarcasm shows a lack of respect for what the other person is saying
If you blame or accuse the other person you are not giving them a chance to explain their side of the conflict. 
Making personal attacks is not just counterproductive but also abusive.
All or Nothing
This is when you generalize person’s behavior to they “always” do something or “never” do something.
Stating Opinion as Fact
We are each entitled to our opinions but that doesn’t make them facts. 
Expecting Mind-Reading
Sometimes we expect that people should know what we are thinking.  This is unfair to others.  We must take responsibility for communicating our thoughts and feelings. 
Pat Reassurances
If you try and reassure someone without really listening it seems as if you don’t take the situation seriously.  Remember most people just want to be listened to, not for you to solve their problems.
Changing the Subject
This shows that you are not interested in what the other person is saying.
Now that you know what you are doing to block conversation you can move forward to improving your communication skills.   I find that many of the communication blockers arise because someone gets more focused on being right than on being engaged.  I would suggest that if you cannot be fully engaged in your conversation that you work on scheduling it for another time when you can be fully present. 
The resource I cited in the footnotes has more extensive handouts on the topic of communication.