45 Communication Quotes To Bring Harmony To Lovers, Friends, Family, And Colleagues


We humans are the most skilled at it. We use a more complex form of it than any other species. And yet… we’re often found woefully lacking in it.

Communication is one of the key reasons we have evolved from nomadic, cave-dwelling creatures into the technologically advanced race that now populates most regions on Earth.

 Listening, speaking, conveying our thoughts and feelings to others: they all lead to a better understanding of who each other are and what tasks need to be carried out to assure our continued survival and prosperity.

Or at least, that’s the theory.

In reality, despite our many complex languages and huge brains, our ability to accurately discern what each other thinks, feels, desires, and needs is often found wanting.

To help you improve your own communication skills, here are some quotes that shed light on the many nuances of effective transfer of information.

 On Listening

Listen with curiosity. Speak with honesty. Act with integrity. The greatest problem with communication is we don’t listen to understand. We listen to reply. When we listen with curiosity, we don’t listen with the intent to reply. We listen for what’s behind the words.– Roy T. Bennett
 Deep listening is miraculous for both listener and speaker. When someone receives us with open-hearted, non-judging, intensely interested listening, our spirits expand.– Sue Thoele
The spoken word belongs half to him who speaks, and half to him who listens.
– French Proverb
I remind myself every morning: Nothing I say this day will teach me anything. So if I’m going to learn, I must do it by listening.– Larry King
We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.– Epictetus
 When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.– Ernest Hemingway

You cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time.– M. Scott Peck

Two monologues do not make a dialogue.– Jeff Daly

On Saying Too Much

Many attempts to communicate are nullified by saying too much.– Robert Greenleaf

 What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.– Herbert A. Simon

Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.– often attributed to Plato, but no evidence for this

Be still when you have nothing to say; when genuine passion moves you, say what you’ve got to say, and say it hot.– D.H. Lawrence

Do not say a little in many words but a great deal in a few.– Pythagoras

Today, communication itself is the problem. We have become the world’s first overcommunicated society. Each year we send more and receive less.– Al Ries

 Saying nothing… sometimes says the most.– Emily Dickinson

Speak only if it improves upon the silence.– Mahatma Gandhi

On Being Understood

The two words ‘information’ and ‘communication’ are often used interchangeably, but they signify quite different things. Information is giving out; communication is getting through.– Sydney J. Harris

How well we communicate is determined not by how well we say things, but how well we are understood.– Andrew Grove

 The ability to express an idea is well nigh as important as the idea itself.– Bernard Baruch

Good communication does not mean that you have to speak in perfectly formed sentences and paragraphs. It isn’t about slickness. Simple and clear go a long way.– John Kotter

The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.– William H. Whyte

On Nonverbal Communication

The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.– Peter Drucker

What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.– Ralph Waldo Emerson

 Setting a good example is truly the most effective means of communication.– Jan Carlzon

In the last analysis, what we are communicates far more eloquently than anything we say or do.– Stephen Covey

Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid.– Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Of all of our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language.– Walt Disney

 A picture paints a thousand words.– Unknown