It doesn’t matter if you’re talking to your partner, your children, or your colleagues – proper communication is essential. It can also be difficult to get right.
The ability to convey your message can positively impact many areas of your life for the better but it takes practice. This collection of communication quotes will help you gain perspective, improve team collaboration, and make it easier to communicate well.
Don’t just read the communication quotes and close the browser tab. Pick out one or two that speak to you and try incorporating the lessons in your daily life. You’ll start seeing the results of better communication sooner rather than later.
Communication quotes for all situations
- “The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.” – Peter Drucker
There are many facets and nuances of communication. The surface level consists of the literal meaning of the written or spoken words. Below the surface are the nuances and the true message being communicated. Great communicators understand this and make an effort to understand the real meaning behind words.
- “Emotional awareness is necessary so you can properly convey your thoughts and feelings to the other person.” – Jason Goldberg
Emotions exist in every statement we make and vary depending on the situation. If you want to communicate well then it’s essential that you understand the emotional state of your audience. For example, you wouldn’t talk to an angry customer the same way you talk to a happy one.
- “Communication works for those who work at it.” – John Powell
It takes time and energy to become a great communicator. Though some people start out better than others, you can improve as long as you put in the effort. Take the time to understand your audience. In a marketing or team communication setting, you’d collect data about their interests, dislikes, preferences, etc.
That information will allow you to connect with your audience and persuade them to your way of thinking. This is applicable whether you’re working on a long term project with teammates or launching a new marketing campaign.
- “When people talk listen completely. Most people never listen.”– Ernest Hemingway
As one of the most famous essay writers, Hemingway understood the role of listening to the other person in the conversation for better communication. Each of us has different perspectives and ideas. Those differences are what make it possible for teamwork to solve the greatest problems in the world. Unfortunately, we’re often so wrapped up in our own ideas that we don’t truly listen to what others have to say unless it supports our stance. Team communication can be improved 10x if everyone just listened completely.
- “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” – George Bernard Shaw
Are you sure the person on the other end of the conversation understands what you’re saying? Simply asking, “did that make sense” in an honest way can go a long way towards ensuring people understand. When I’m working through a difficult problem with my team, I like to ask them to rephrase what I said in their own words. If they’re missing something, I’ll explain it again until everyone is on the same page.
- “To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” – Tony Robbins
Whether you realize it or not, there are inherent assumptions in the things you say and do. For example, if you’re trying to communicate a concept around dog obedience training, you may assume the person understands its importance. Your message is clearest when you’re aware of your assumptions and work towards making sure the other person understands your perspective.
- “The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice.” ― Peggy O’Mara
I’d hesitate to call your team members your children. What I take away from this communication quote is that you can influence performance and further collaboration by what you say and how you say it. For example, if someone makes a mistake it shouldn’t be an opportunity to belittle them. Instead, it should be a way to give them constructive criticism to improve and become more productive over time.
- “Honest, open communication is the only street that leads us into the real world… We then begin to grow as never before. And once we are on this road, happiness cannot be far away.” ― John Joseph Powel
In almost every organization, there’s a hierarchy through which information flows. If it’s hoarded at the top then the candid conversations that move the group forward can’t occur. Use your discretion with this but default towards openness and honesty.
- “Effective communication is 20% what you know and 80% how you feel about what you know.” – Jim Rohn
This is an essential communication quote that sheds light on what many people overlook. Persuasion is necessary for all areas of your life whether it’s with a customer, teammates, or your family.
You may have all the facts but if they’re delivered poorly, it doesn’t matter. If you feel you’re right and can pass that emotion on to others then you’re much more likely to convince them.
- “Effective communication helps to keep the team working on the right projects with the right attitude.” – Alex Langer
If you’ve ever been a part of a large scale project that blew its deadline or budget then you know how important team communication is. It’s the glue that keeps everyone on track and excited no matter how difficult or far away the goal is.
- “The most important things to say are those which often I did not think necessary for me to say — because they were too obvious.” ― André Gide
I’ve come to realize that just because I’ve known something for a long time doesn’t mean someone else knows it. To me, it’s obvious but that’s not the case for everyone else. Even if you take a piece of information for granted, make sure you communicate it to those around you.
- “Make sure to communicate your idea quickly and keep it straight to the point.” – Paul Bailey
It’s been said that the attention span of people – especially online – is getting shorter and shorter. One of the best strategies to counteract this is to strip your message down to the core elements and remove jargon. Once you’ve communicated the core ideas, you can then expand on them to an interested audience.
You can also use visuals like infographics, timelines, short videos, gifs, etc. to better convey your message.
- “If people had the right skills and intention to communicate well, there would be no conflict. The better we are at communicating, the better our lives will be.”― Yama Mubtaker
This communication quote touches on a truth few people grasp. It doesn’t matter if you’re communicating as a partner, a teammate, parent, or sibling, your relationships can be improved when it’s done well.
- “There is no communication that is so simple that it cannot be misunderstood.”― Luigina Sgarro
Even something as simple as “take out the trash” can be misunderstood. As the speaker or writer, it’s your job to convey your message clearly and succinctly. Sometimes, that means repeating it in many different ways until you’re sure it has sunk in.
- “Communication is a skill that you can learn. It’s like riding a bicycle or typing. If you’re willing to work at it, you can rapidly improve the quality of every part of your life.” Brian Tracy
Many people fail at communication because they don’t try to improve their ability to do it well. This is a mistake because, like other soft skills, it takes practice. Make a deliberate effort to communicate clearly with your team and those around you.
- “The art of communication is the language of leadership.” James Humes
While all great communicators aren’t great leaders, all great leaders are great communicators. If you can’t share your ideas, challenges, and goals with stakeholders then you won’t get very far.
- “The best speakers in the world are the best storytellers. They have a gift to not only tell a great story, but also share a lot of the details that many others wouldn’t.” Larry Hagner
This is especially true when you’re using your words to persuade. For example, if you’re hosting webinars to grow your business then you’ll know that people connect with the stories you tell. The facts are, in many cases, secondary. The same is true when you’re selling software, cars, or houses. People connect with the stories then look for the facts to support the decisions they’ve made.
- “Although we live in an information technology age, we often find ourselves in failure to communicate situations.” Johnny Tan
It’s funny because platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok are supposed to bring us closer together. Oftentimes, we’re engrossed in the apps and ignore those in the same room as us. Technology has its merits but there’s no substitute for a candid conversation without distractions. That could be through a team messenger like Chanty, a conferencing tool like Zoom, or a face to face conversation.
- “To have good communication skills means you are able to make your point without a lot of fillers and stumbling.” Gregory Davidson
If you can’t communicate a concept clearly, it means you don’t understand it well enough. Even though filler words don’t equal a lack of understanding, that’s the impression it can give. Consider practicing your delivery or editing it until it’s clear, concise, and effective.
- “Replacing paper with a PC screen doesn’t change the need for clear, precise communication.” Kenneth Roman; Joel Raphaelson
Computers and the internet give us near limitless space to write or talk. That doesn’t mean you should use all of that space. No matter the medium, keep your message as concise as possible.
- “If you don’t seem confident of what you say or your speech is stuffed with instances of throat-clearing and fillers, why would the listener have any concrete faith in your words either?“ Grady Roche
Another quote spoke about stumbling over your words but this one is about inspiring trust in your words. If your message isn’t delivered with conviction and it seems like you don’t believe it then how could anyone else
Filler words and stuttering seem to communicate that you’re not confident in what you’re saying – even if that’s not the case. If this is a problem for you then rehearse ahead of time to make sure you get it right.
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- “I began noting where the audience laughed or clapped or paid closest attention. I came to realize that a good speech is not a soliloquy but a dialogue.” Sarah Ferguson The Duchess of York
This ties into listening to your intended audience to become a better communicator. Instead of going through the motions, make an effort to understand where your message is falling flat or being misunderstood and work to improve it. That’s when your ability to communicate improves and your messages are spread further.
Thoughts on communication quotes
Communication is essential whether you lead a team of 200 or you’re trying to get your family to the park on Saturday morning. It takes understanding, empathy, and clarity to get right. The communication quotes shared here deal with different aspects of the entire communication process.
Before you can get better, you have to understand where you’re lacking. Do you have trouble listening to others? Is it difficult for you to break your message down into its core elements? Does the problem come when you’re talking?
Once you can identify the communication challenges you experience, you can start to work on them. According to Brian Tracy, communication is a skill that needs to be worked on over time if you want to improve it.
Internalize the lessons from one or two quotes shared here and start applying them in your daily life. Let me know what you think in the comments and strategies you’re using to improve your communication skills.