Good Communication skills are the lifeblood of any successful organization so in this post are 80 effective workplace communication quotes that you might want to use in your training to inspire those you are training.

80 Effective Workplace Communication Quotes

Without it, strategies falter, morale sags and confusion can take root. Likewise, with bad communication in the workplace, minor misunderstandings can lead to conflict between employees.

How can you be certain that every nod of understanding is genuine, that every “yes” is truly committed, and that every task is embarked upon with a clear understanding of what is required?

The following quotes are tokens of wisdom, and nuggets of experience, that highlight the need for effective communication and the benefits of good communication.

80 Effective Workplace Communication Quotes

Team Success Through Clear Communication Quotes

Here we lay the groundwork for effective management. These are the foundational beliefs that good leaders lean on to forge strong, coherent teams.

1. “Good communication is just as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after.” – Anne Morrow Lindbergh

The idea behind Lindberh’s quote is that black coffee and communication both stimulate and sharpen the mind. When we are communicated clearly to, we can feel inspired and buzzing with excitement, just like coffee can give us a buzz.

2. “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” – George Bernard Shaw

As Bernard Shaw highlights, there are many times when we explain something to someone and we assume that we have communicated brilliantly and that the receiver must understand what we said. Often though, we fail to make things clear and to communicate well!

3. “Effective communication is 20% what you know and 80% how you feel about what you know.” – Jim Rohn

The idea here by Rohn is that, in essence, 80% of the task with communicating well is how well you get your idea across, using your emotions, personal connection, and engagement with the audience you are communicating with. The actual knowledge or information that you are communicating can be considered as 20% of the ability to communicate effectively.

4. “Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.” – Plato

5. “The art of communication is the language of leadership.” – James Humes

Understanding how to communicate well, such as through storytelling and through good use of language and visuals, is like a language of its own, as Humes states.

6. “To truly communicate effectively, we must accept that we all have different perspectives and then frame communication in a clear and easy way for all to understand, no matter what their views or perspective”. – Dr Paul Symonds

7. “It is understanding that gives us an ability to have peace. When we understand the other fellow’s viewpoint, and he understands ours, then we can sit down and work out our differences.” – Harry S. Truman

Communication is also about a willingness to listen and being open to other viewpoints and thoughts, as Truman hypothesises.

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

Active listening skills training is extremely useful when it comes to understanding the role that actively and willingly listening has in relation to great communication.

9. “Speak clearly, if you speak at all; carve every word before you let it fall.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

Listening as a Key Element in Communication Quotes

All great leaders share one core trait in communication, which is that they know how to listen. The ten quotes below are related to the art of active and engaged listening in communication.

10. “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” – Winston Churchill

Sometimes being a good communicator means knowing when not to speak, as much as it can be knowing when to speak, as Churchill alludes to.

11. “Listening is the most powerful skill a leader can master.” – George DiGuido

As mentioned previously, if you are looking to improve communication in your business, do consider providing active listening skills training.

12. “To listen [to another] is a great strategy for leadership and being listened to is the other person’s recognition of our leadership potential.” – Mike Clayton

One of my favourite workplace communication quotes, this quote by Clayton clearly emphasises the role of active listening in communication.

13. “Listen with the intent to understand, not the intent to reply.”Stephen Covey

14. “Leaders who are great listeners may be great at discernment…and may be more aware of the talent that is around them.” – Warren Bennis

15. “Listen before you lead.” – Mike Myatt

16. “I have learned that sometimes listening is the best real-time feedback system.” – Jared Smith

17. “The art of conversation lies in listening.” – Malcom Forbes

Most of us are so busy waiting to have the chance to talk that we do not properly listen. Next time you have a conversation, focus on listening and absorbing what the other person is saying.

It can be surprising how much information you can gain by listening. Many people are not used to being listened to, and they quickly open up when given the chance to be heard.

As a manager or leader, listening gives you an opportunity to really understand the motivation of each employee and access useful information that might otherwise be hidden.

18. “When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.”– Ernest Hemingway

Effective Communication and Collaboration Quotes

When we are thinking in terms of collaboration training skills, effective communication is very important. Here are ten effective communication and collaboration quotes.

19. “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller

By collaborating and pooling skills we can achieve so much more, as Keller points out.

20. “Teamwork begins by building trust. And the only way to do that is to overcome our need for invulnerability.”Patrick Lencioni

Building trust in the workplace is essential for establishing good communication!

21. The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t being said. The art of reading between the lines is a lifelong quest of the wise.” – Shannon L. Alder

Body Language and Communication Quotes

Communication is conveyed not just in the words we speak but also through body language and non-verbal communication. Here are some quotes on this topic.

22. “Your body language, your eyes, your energy will communicate more than your words.” – Stephen Covey

23. “You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere.” – Lee Iacocca

24. “Eloquence is the power to translate a truth into language perfectly intelligible to the person to whom you speak.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

25. “Make sure you have finished speaking before your audience has finished listening.” – Dorothy Sarnoff

26. “We had body language before we had speech, and apparently, 80% of what you understand in a conversation is read through the body, not the words.” – Deborah Bull

Another variation of the 80%/20% rule, this time with Deborah Bull’s version using body language.

27. “The real information being communicated is not what is said verbally but what is transmitted through the body” – Dr Valeria Lo Iacono

A quote I used previously in our body language training materials.

28. “Your body communicates as well as your mouth. Don’t contradict yourself.” – Allen Ruddock

Another quote that enphasises the important role that body language has in communication.

29. “Nonverbal communication forms a social language that is in many ways richer and more fundamental than our words.” – Leonard Mlodinow

30. “We speak with more than our mouths. We listen with more than our ears.” – Rhonda Milrad.

Much like the the idea that we have two ears and one mouth which infers we should listen twice as much as we talk, Milrad’s quote reminds us of this.

31. “To listen closely and reply well is the highest perfection we are able to attain in the art of conversation.” – François de La Rochefoucauld

Another of my favourite workplace communication quotes, I like the combination of listening closely and responding with substance.

32. “The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said. The art of reading between the lines is a lifelong quest of the wise.” – Shannon L. Alder

33. “What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.”Ralph Waldo Emerson

The idea that “actions speak louder than words” is in effect the point Emerson was making.

Communication Skills training course materials
>> Communication Skills training course materials

34. “Few realize how loud their expressions really are. Be kind with what you wordlessly say” – Richelle E. Goodrich

35. “Non-verbal communication is an elaborate secret code that is written nowhere, known by none, and understood by all.” – Edward Sap

36. “Your body language speaks before your tongue does.” – Anonymous

Communication and Feedback Quotes

Feedback is a central part of how we communicate in the workplace.

As a manager, it is about letting people know what we expect of them and about what they are doing well and right. As an employee, feedback can be about communicating clearly what we need. Feedback is an essential element in workplace communication.

37. “Feedback is the breakfast of champions.” – Ken Blanchard

Blanchard’s quote always makes me giggle but he’s absolutely right in his quote in that feedback is an incredibly valuable tool, just like breakfast is a very important meal and fuel to succeed.

38. “Make feedback normal. Not a performance review.” – Ed Batista

The point Batista is making is that feedback should be regular and not stressful. When feedback is given or received in the right way, it can be smooth and almost effortless.

39. “Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots.” – Frank A. Clark

Much like Batista, Clark highlights the importance of feedback being a smooth process. Feedback should motivate employees and not be unnecessarily critical or unhelpful.

40. “We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.” – Bill Gates

41. “There is no failure. Only feedback.” – Rober Allen

42. “Feedback is a gift. Ideas are the currency of our next success. Let people see you value both feedback and ideas.”Jim Trinka and Les Wallace

43. “Feedback is knowing not just how to give feedback to others, but also how to receive it, and to learn from others” – Dr Paul Symonds

44. “Honest, constructive feedback is the keystone of valuable communication.” – Anonymous

One more of my favourite workplace communication quotes, constructive feedback can be so beneficial to our career progression, if we are open to receiving it and willing to learn.

Workplace Communication and Trust Quotes

For good communication, we also need trust between each party to develop and build open communication.

45. “Trust is the feeling of being able to rely on other’s intentions.” – Unknown

46. “A hidden ingredient behind all good communication, is the spice, Trust” – Dr Paul Symonds

47. “Make sure you have finished speaking before your audience has finished listening.”Dorothy Sarnoff

48. “Communicate by being a positive and enthusiastic example for your team.” – Mike Clayton

As Clayton posits, what better way to communicate than by leading by example and, in effect, showing the way things should be done?

49. “Be clear with what you believe.” – Warren Bennis

It is difficult to communicate effectively with others when we ourselves do not truly understand what we want. Clarity in our own thinking can greatly aid our ability to communicate well.

Various Communication Quotes

Motivational quotes can be used in trying to drive your team to succeed.

50. “Create a good connection with the productive energy in each person and put everything into use.” – Unknown

Every employee has attributes and skills that are valuable to your team so do make the effort to understand and learn about the skills of each employee. One-to-one meetings can be great for this.

51. “Be the energy unit of your team and business.” – Mike Myatt

Clear communication can help you align your team’s goals with your vision and the tasks at hand.

52. “Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.” – Jonathan Swift

53. “The significance of a man (woman) of vision is not how clearly s/he sees but how persistently s/he turns his eyes to that which s/he desires.” – Louise Ga

54. “Tell the world what you intend to do, but first show it.” – Napoleon Hill

55. “Leadership is the art of setting a common goal and enforcing it with all your strength.” – Mike Myatt

56. “True leadership lies in finding and pursuing a common purpose.” – Warren Bennis

57. “Leaders are visionaries with a poorly developed sense of fear and no concept of the odds against them.” – Robert Jarvik

The Art of Verbal Communication Quotes

58. “Our language is the reflection of ourselves. A language is an exact reflection of the character and growth of its speakers.” – Cesar Chavez

As Chavez posits, the words and way of speaking we choose to use when managing and communicating with others lay the groundwork for how we successfully (or unsuccessfully) convey our message.

59. “The universe is made of stories, not atoms.” – Muriel Rukeyser

In this quote, the point Rukeyser is making is that we communicate through storytelling.

60. “Tailor your message to your audience.” – Anonymous

A very simple quote that expresses the point that if we really want to communicate well, it can be advantageous to use a tone and way of speaking (a discourse) that the audience can relate to.

61. “The pauses between the words convey a more significant meaning than the words themselves.” – Rasheed Ogunlaru

62. “Leadership is not about being in charge. It is about taking care of those in your charge.” – Simon Sinek

The message from Sinek here is that the best way to communicate to inspire others is to use your words to guide rather than to dictate to others. Use words to develop trust, to create cohesion, and to instill confidence.

63. “Speak in such a way that others love to listen to you. Listen in such a way that others love to speak to you.” – Anonymous

64. “Communication – the human connection – is the key to personal and career success.” – Paul J. Meyer

This is a lovely quote by Meyer that emphasizes the fact that good communication comes with style, charm and humanity.

65. “Positive words can bend your world in your favor.” – Anonymous

If you want a positive outcome when leading others, then consider using positive words!

66. “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci

Great communication is sometimes about not trying to overcommunicate or overcomplicate your message.

67. “Words are the voice of the heart.” – Confucius

Daily practice can make your verbal communication more fluent and your message more potent.

Using Emotional Intelligence to Communicate Better

68. “You cannot not communicate.” – Paul Watzlawick

The point Watzlawick makes is that whatever we do, we are communicating in one way or another. Even silence communicates something such as that we are listening, or perhaps not interested. The point is that body language, listening and silence all contribute.

69. “Words are the most powerful drug used by mankind.” – Rudyard Kipling

70. “Brevity is the soul of wit.” – William Shakespeare

One can take Shakespeare’s quote to reflect on the idea that being succinct in communication leaves little room for misunderstanding.

71. “Listeners can accurately pick up on the emotional brain waves of a speaker.” – Daniel Goleman

As Goleman notes, as an audience we tend to have a sense of emotional resonance (or not) with the speaker, so trying to build this resonance makes for better communication.

72. “The way we communicate with others and with ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our lives.” – Anthony Robbins

73. “The word ‘listen’ contains the same letters as the word ‘silent’.” – Alfred Brendel

If you need just one workplace communications quote, then use this one as it will get your participants’ attention.

Confident Communication Quotes

74. “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

75. “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

76. “Communication is about being effective, not always about being proper.” – Bob Goff

77. “A man’s character may be learned from the adjectives which he habitually uses in conversation.” –Mark Twain

78. “The more elaborate our means of communication, the less we communicate.” – Joseph Priestley

The point Priestly is making here is that simplicity is often the best form of communication.

79. “Good communication is the bridge between confusion and clarity.” – Nat Turner

80. “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” – Winston Churchill

Training course materials

7 Rules for Effective Communication?

There are seven clear rules that I use for clear communication and these are as follows:

1. Make It Clear, Concise and Direct

Rather than trying to be clever with how you speak, the best communication style can be clear and direct. It can be easy to try and over-explain and in essence, to over-communicate.

  • Direct Communication: Use expressions and a way of speaking that the people you are communicating with will understand. Avoid unambiguous terms and avoid using jargon. Direct communication can help you to avoid confusion.
  • Succinctness: Know what you need to say, and keep it simple. Your and your team’s time is precious so why waste time with poor communication?
  • Repetition for Reinforcement: Repeating essential details though can help good communication. Repetition, when done strategically, helps to reinforce key messages and ensures that it’s understood and remembered.

2. Active Listening: How to Truly Hear and Understand

When we think of communicating, many of us think only about the speaking part. Active listening though is an essential skill that you also need to use.

  • Eliminate Distractions: Show respect to the speaker by really trying to focus on what they are saying. Avoid trying to focus on what you want to say. Truly listen.
  • Reflecting Feelings: Paraphrase or reflect what the speaker is feeling to demonstrate that you understand and acknowledge their perspective.
  • Questioning: Use well-thought-out questions to gain deeper insights and ensure you’ve understood the message in its entirety.

3. Learn to Show Empathy and Build a Connection

Being able to show empathy, compassion and understanding is important in communication as it can help to foster respect and trust. Empathy involves:

  • Seeing the Other’s Perspective: Attempt to view situations from your employee’s and team’s perspective. How might they interpret the message?
  • Positive Intent: Listen with positive intent but assume that the person speaking has a positive intention unless they show otherwise. This fosters a positive, supportive culture.

4. Understand the Value of Non-Verbal Communication

Being aware of non-verbal communication i.e. body language, can be a valuable skill. It is worth understanding:

  • Eye Contact and Gestures: Certain aspects of body language depend on the culture and country as in some countries direct eye contact is not appropriate. Eye contact and gestures though are important aspects of non-verbal communication.
  • Posture: You can learn a lot from the way people sit or stand, the direction of the face etc.
  • Personal Space: Make sure that you are respectful of people’s personal space. Do not get too close unnecessarily.

5. Feedback

Providing effective feedback helps drive performance and foster growth when communicated constructively.

  • Timeliness: Deliver feedback as close to the event as possible to ensure a clear line of association.
  • Specificity: Giving specific and clear examples can be useful but ensure that you put a positive spin on the example. Always look for the positive.
  • Forward-Looking: Use feedback sessions to set goals and provide support for achieving them.

6. Adaptability and Adjusting Your Communication Style

Adaptability is important in business especially so when communicating with others:

  • Diagnosis: Quickly assess the communication style of your team member. Are they shy or outgoing? How best to talk to the person/people you are dealing with?
  • Flexibility: Be ready to switch gears if a style of approach isn’t working. Adaptability demonstrates that you value your team’s perspective and comfort.
  • Consistency with Clarity: While adjusting your style, ensure your core message remains consistent. It’s the essence of effective and adaptable communication.

7. Be Open and Encourage Participation

Creating an open environment where everyone feels encouraged to speak up and share their ideas is essential. In other words, you want to create an inclusive team and workplace.

  • Listening Without Judgment: Create a team where team members feel that they can express their thoughts without fear of negative consequences.
  • Acting on Input: Show that you value your team’s input by acting on and acknowledging useful suggestions.
  • Regular Forums for Feedback: Set up regular feedback channels that allow for a structured and open exchange of thoughts between you and your team.

Make sure also to check out our 90 inspirational workplace quotes post too!

Dr Valeria Lo Iacono