Communication. It’s a skill every business owner needs. The better you communicate, the better your business will operate. Your business will provide better service to your clients. Better service (and results) to clients increases the likelihood that you’ll get referrals. I could sit here at my desk and write a huge post about active listening, but there are a ton of those out there. And, frankly, information about active listening won’t do you any good if you don’t put the steps into practice each and every day.
Instead, I’ve put together this list of 7 top quotes about communication.
Don’t Be a Know It All…Because You’re Probably Wrong, Anyway
And I’m going to start with my very favorite quote by Abraham Lincoln*:
Better to be silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.
*I was taught it was Abraham Lincoln. It’s also said that the origination of the quote is unknown.
Know the Difference Between Being Wise and Being a Fool
Plato made an important distinction between why people who are wise and people who are fools speak:
Wise men speak because they have something to say. Fools because they have to say something.
Listen More Than You Speak
My grandmother and great grandmother used to quote Epictetus:
We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.
Understand What You’re Saying
Words have their own meaning. Sadly, many think they’re easily replaced for one another. Epictetus (as well as experience) shows us otherwise:
First learn the meaning of what you say, then speak.
(Mean what you say…and say what you mean. Deals die in the ocean of ambiguity.)
Communication Isn’t Just about You
One of the biggest problems with communication is that we tend to presume people understand exactly what we say, what we want, what we plan to do, etc. George Bernard Shaw:
The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.
Know Your Audience & Adjust Your Message
Lawyers don’t talk to judges and other counselors in the same way that they speak to or with their clients (or at least they shouldn’t!). C.S. Lewis points out the importance of how we word our message depending on our intended audience:
Don’t use words too big for the subject.
Pay Attention to What Isn’t Said
Effective communication is about more than what is said. It’s also about what isn’t said. Peter Drucker:
The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.
What’s your favorite quote related to communication? Share below!