How to Speak, How To Listen

Picking up on a recent post where I said that speaking and listening  were the two most essential tools a Network Marketer must have, let me share some insights into these skills.

How to Speak How to Listen, a book written almost 30 years ago by Mortimer J. Adler, offers some of those insights. Beginning with the obvious pairing of reading skills with those of writing and then speaking with listening, Mr. Adler makes this distinction: The first pair is much easier to teach and learn than the second pair.

This is counter-intuitive and surprising. Most of us would assume that our writing and reading abilities are more difficult to learn, requiring formal classroom experience and a string of professional teachers spanning years. When we consider that our speaking and listening skills are inborn necessities that are developed first in the home, we usually think of learning them as easy as learning to eat. (Mom usually being our first teacher, there is a very good reason each one of us has a language we call our ‘mother tongue’.)

Furthermore, most of us assume that if one has learned to write and read well, that person would of course know how to speak and listen well. Mr. Adler states that simply is not the case.

And the reason, simply put, has to do with fluidity. And fluency.


While I enthusiastically recommend Mr. Adler’s book How to Speak How to Listen,  he does use a lot of examples from the classical world making the book rather academic. If you are a network marketer or in sales, looking to improve your commercial speaking and listening skills you can’t do any better than Tom ‘Big Al’ Schreiter. You can find a list of his 25 Essential Skills for Network Marketers at and sign up for his newsletter at at no cost.



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    My new eBook Culture, Politics, Entertainment & Irresponsibility in Network Marketing is not just about Network Marketing - it is about Success & Failure and the distractions that take us off track. It also explores how we just might be co-operating with those who want our attention at any cost - even our success. You can check out my new eBook by clicking on the image and getting it to your eReader in minutes.
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