How To Speak, How To Listen 3

Mortimer Adler argues in his 30-year-old masterpiece How to Speak How to Listen that being able to listen well is the most difficult communication skill to acquire, more difficult to learn than speaking or the other skills pair of reading and writing. This difficulty helps to explain why it is the most lacking of the communication skills.

But why is that and what does it tell us about our human behavior?

My hunch is because listening is linked with its sister skill – speaking, and the emotion that stirs ups in the majority of people. You probably know that when asked, most people say, even more than dying, their greatest fear speaking in public .

When most of us are in some kind of conversation or presentation – let’s say we’re talking to a prospect for our business opportunity – we tend to get so wrapped up in what to say next that we FORGET to listen. And when that happens we fail to connect. We in effect isolate ourselves, widening the gap that already exists naturally and the one we are trying to bridge by speaking to them to begin with!

Is there any wonder so many of us Network Marketers have such difficulty sponsoring people into our businesses?

Want to do something about it?


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 conventional 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.

You can also experience them live each Saturday at 1pm EDT in an ongoing series of webinars. To enroll at no cost go to and please use my name ~Tony Lauria~ as the person who invited you.

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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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