In John Doe’s mind a typical Master of Communication is a person who can speak fluently and entertainingly on any topic. In other words – someone who is colloquially described as “smooth operator”. How much truth is in this image? This is a crucial question for someone who is professionally involved in MLM. Because every business, in particular direct sales is built on a communication foundation.
The Master of Communication – this will sound paradoxical – can be a (almost) silent person! It may or may not have the ability to create extremely complex word structures. But it is not this skill that determines his mastery. So what makes him stand out from the crowd? In my opinion, two competences: the ability to actively listen and consistency of body language with verbal messages.
Let’s start with the first skill. Doesn’t that sound a bit paradoxical? How can you listen actively? Either I am active (meaning I speak) or listen (i.e. I am passive). Not completely. A real master can listen dynamically, helping his interlocutor create a fully understandable message.
Master of communication asks questions
The easiest way to make it easier for us to understand what our partner meant was to ask questions. Our master above all … is not afraid of questions. What’s so special about it? Well, take my word for it that this is not a common skill. Most of us do not ask the other person because they are afraid of being ridiculed (“I will fool myself that I do not understand such an obvious thing”) or not wanting to offend a partner (“it will appear that he cannot speak intelligently”). The consequence of this is getting deeper into the drifts of misunderstanding, so far that many times there is no chance for full understanding.
Master of communication doses questions
The Master of Communication also knows that almost no message is completely unambiguous. Therefore, after almost every sentence spoken by our communication partner, we could, in fact, overwhelm him with detailed questions. This would of course be ridiculous, which is why the Master can correctly dose the number of questions without asking unnecessary or poorly formulated questions. He asks a lot of open questions (because these extend the maximum number of answers), but at the right time can use a closed question (when he wants to know the short answer: yes or no). He also avoids questions suggesting an answer, because these only lead to confirmation of our opinion, even if our partner has a different opinion deep inside.
So the master can ask questions. But this is not the only skill classified as active listening. Paraphrasing, i.e. capturing the sense of the interlocutor’s statements, is extremely effective in communication. This is a difficult skill, requiring the consciousness of the mind of both sides and at the same time extremely indigestible in the case of “overdose” (imagine talking to someone who every now and then interrupts us with the words “do I understand you well …”, “Oh, so …”, “So … “). Therefore, a lot of time is devoted to training in communication skills.
But maybe even more important of his competence is the ability to tune in to the interlocutor. The poor “communicator” uses the same words and gestures for all types of interlocutors: young and old, educated and non-educated, engineers and humanists… The Master of Communication can adapt non-verbal vocabulary and techniques to the level and style of the interlocutor. Talking with a young man, he will not say “money”, only “bucks”, “bacon”, “biscuits” (depending on the prevailing fashion) but also he will never escape such colloquial term in conversation with a financier or an elderly person. When he talks to a very dynamic man, he speaks faster and louder; when he communicates with an elderly person, he slows down and lowers his tone. Why is this so important? The explanation is simple: we like people similar to each other, i.e. among others communicating similarly to us.
Master of communication body language
The power of silence
Our Master is a man aware that non-verbal communication (body language and intonation) is often more important than the meaning of words spoken – especially when these two spheres are not consistent (“you see something else, you hear something different”). Therefore, even when he is silent (apparently he is not communicating) he is a very active participant in the communication process. Silence allows him to pay more attention to our non-verbal code, capture the nuances of gestures or facial expressions that any pseudo-master of rhetoric overlooked, focused on his own voice.