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Communication Quotes

Businessman With Tape On His Mouth

Whether presenting at an international conference, leading a team meeting, pitching a new idea to the boss or just going over strategy with a coworker, proper communication is essential. Common side effects of poor communication include: loss of time and resources, anger, frustration, subpar results, and premature graying.


You can probably think of a few people these quotes might benefit. We suggest taking a subtle approach like printing this page and posting it near the coffee maker or on your cubicle wall in large print. Good luck!

 Developing excellent communication skills is absolutely essential to effective leadership. The leader must be able to share knowledge and ideas to transmit a sense of urgency and enthusiasm to others. If a leader can’t get a message across clearly and motivate others to act on it, then having a message doesn’t even matter.

– Gilbert Amelio, President and CEO of National Semiconductor Corp. 

Communication can’t always follow the top-down model. With the fluidity of information in business today, leaders need to be masterful listeners; they need to be able to receive as well as send.

– Joseph Badaracco 

Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy and mutual valuing.

– Rollo May 

I’m sorry this letter is so long, but I did not have time to make it shorter.

– Mark Twain 

If you are out to describe the truth, leave elegance to the tailor.

– Albert Einstein 

If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.

– Albert Einstein 

It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.

– Mark Twain 

It’s a rare person who wants to hear what he doesn’t want to hear.

– Dick Cavett 

Leaders who make it a practice to draw out the thoughts and ideas of their subordinates and who are receptive even to bad news will be properly informed. Communicate downward to subordinates with at least the same care and attention as you communicate upward to superiors.

– L. B. Belker 

Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.

– Albert Einstein 

Many attempts to communicate are nullified by saying too much.

– Robert Greenleaf 

Most important, leaders can conceive and articulate goals that lift people out of their petty preoccupations and unite them in pursuit of objectives worthy of their best efforts.

– John Gardner 

Precision of communication is important, more important than ever, in our era of hair trigger balances, when a false or misunderstood word may create as much disaster as a sudden thoughtless act.

– James Thurber 

Regardless of the changes in technology, the market for well-crafted messages will always have an audience.

– Steve Burnett, The Burnett Group 

The day soldiers stop bring you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them.

– General Colin Powell 

The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.

– Mark Twain 

The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said.

– Peter Drucker 

The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right place, but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

– Dorothy Nevill 

The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously.

– Hubert H. Humphrey 

The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.

– George Bernard Shaw 

The void created by the failure to communicate is soon filled with poison, drivel and misrepresentation.

– C. Northcote Parkinson 

There’s nothing more demoralizing than a leader who can’t clearly articulate why we’re doing what we’re doing.

– James Kouzes and Barry Posner 

You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere.

– Lee Iacocca 

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