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85 quotes about communication in business to motivate teams and leaders

Alia Paavola
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The success of any business and team hinges on effective communication. Strong communication allows businesses to convey clear messages about strategy, branding, and priorities. Plus, good communication improves a team’s productivity and success.

Effective communication is key both internally between teams and externally to customers and other key stakeholders. With good communication, businesses will see increased efficiency, better customer satisfaction, and improved results. 

In this article, we share 85 quotes related to communication. This includes business communication quotes, team communication quotes, listening quotes, and leadership communication quotes. Our list selects a few tried and true inspirational quotes and some unique phrases from people with different backgrounds.

The quotes below serve as inspiration for businesses and team leaders who are looking to improve communication overall. Often, it is helpful to read inspiring quotes to boost teamwork and inspire team communication. 

Leadership communication quotes

The following quotes show how successful leaders are great communicators and should work to sharpen this soft skill. 

1. “Communication is the most important skill any leader can possess.” — Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group

2. “Communication is the only task you cannot delegate.” — Roberto Críspulo Goizueta, former Coca-Cola CEO

3. “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, American technology executive

4. “Communicate downward to subordinates with at least the same care and attention as you communicate upward to superiors.” — L. B. Belker, insurance executive, and author

5. “Communicate everything you can to your associates. The more they know, the more they’ll care. Once they care, there’s no stopping them.” — Sam Walton, Walmart founder

6. “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 L. Badaracco, Harvard ethics professor and author

7. “Do not sugarcoat the truth. Trust and responsiveness are essential for communicating with other executives as well as with your own team. Developing trust and building rapport may take some time, but once in place, executives recognize you as a valued partner.” — Manny Rodriguez, Chief Marketing, Experience, and Customer Officer at UCHealth

8. “Communicate in a respectful manner – don’t just tell your team members what you want, but explain to them why.” — Jeffrey Morales, American author

9. “The greatest gift you can give your team: clarity, communication, and pulling people together around a shared mission.” — Anne Sweeny, American businesswoman and former chair and president at The Walt Disney Co.

10. “Communication is the real work of leadership.” — Nitin Nohria, former dean of Harvard Business School

11. “The art of communication is the language of leadership.” — James Humes, author and presidential speech writer

Team communication quotes

The following quotes can be used to help inspire teamwork and team communication.

12. “Effective teamwork begins and ends with communication.”  — Mike Krzyzewski, former college basketball coach

13. “In teamwork, silence isn't golden, it’s deadly.” — Mark Sanborn, leadership speaker and author

14. “The kinds of errors that cause plane crashes are invariably errors of teamwork and communication.” ― Malcolm Gladwell, Canadian journalist and author

15. “Effective communication helps to keep the team working on the right projects with the right attitude.” — Alex Langer, Italian journalist

16. “Open, frank communication is the linchpin to teamwork.” — Patrick Lencioni, American author

17. “High-performance teams create cultures of caring, connection, commitment, collaboration, and clear constant communication.” — Tony Dovale, author and leadership coach

18. “Building a strong team around you and being able to really communicate well with them is part of what’s going to bring you a higher level of success.” ― Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex

Business communication quotes

These quotes share how successful businesses focus on communication.

19. “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, American journalist

20. “Your ability to communicate is an important tool in your pursuit of your goals, whether it is with your family, your co-workers, or your clients and customers.”  — Les Brown, motivational speaker

21. “Communication – the human connection – is the key to personal and career success.” — Paul Meyer, author

22. “Of all of our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language." — Walt Disney, American animator, film producer, and entrepreneur

23. "What is the shortest word in the English language that contains the letters: abcdef? Answer: feedback. Don't forget that feedback is one of the essential elements of good communication."  — Anonymous

24. “Make sure to communicate your idea quickly and keep it straight to the point.” —  Paul Bailey, British novelist and critic

Importance of listening quotes

The following quotes elaborate on how effective communication and discussions start with active listening. 

25. “When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.” — Ernest Hemingway, American novelist

26. “Seek first to understand. Then to be understood.” — Stephen R. Covey, American educator and author

27. “The biggest communication problem is we do not listen to understand. We listen to reply.” — Stephen R. Covey, American educator and author

28. “If you look closely at your relationships, you will see that the effectiveness of your relationships is determined by how well you communicate. How well you communicate with others is determined, by and large, by how well you listen.” — Amir Fathizadeh, business coach

29. “There is only one rule for being a good talker — learn to listen.” — Christopher Morley, American journalist and author 

30. “Any problem, big or small, within a family, always seems to start with bad communication. Someone isn’t listening.” — Emma Thompson, British actress 

31. “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, American television host 

32. “It is greed to do all the talking but not to want to listen at all.” — Democritus, Greek philosopher 

33. “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” — Winston Churchill, former Prime Minister of the U.K.

34. “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” — Epictetus, Greek philosopher

35. “The art of communication isn’t what you say. It’s about what you hear.” — Erwin McManus, author

36. “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, American author

Effective speaking quotes

The following quotes describe more about when to speak, how to speak, and what effective speakers share.

37. “Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.”— Plato, Greek philosopher

38. “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, author

39. “If you have nothing to say, say nothing.” — Mark Twain, author

40. “Constantly talking isn’t necessarily communicating.” — Charlie Kaufman, screenwriter and director

41. “A lot of problems in the world would be solved if we talked to each other instead of about each other.” — Nickey Gumbel, author

42. “Eighty-five percent of people report being nervous about speaking in public, and I believe the other 15 percent are lying.” —  Matt Abrahams, strategic communication lecturer and podcast host

43. “Say a little and say it well.” — Irish proverb

44. “Talk low, talk slow, and don’t say too much” – John Wayne, American actor

45. “It’s important to make sure that we’re talking with each other in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds.” — Barack Obama, 44th U.S. president

46. “Speech is our primary means of communication. If it’s important, we tell people about it.” — Brian Knapp, author

General communication quotes

The following quotes are about interpersonal communication, skillful communication, showing empathy when communicating, and more.

47. “Good communication is just as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after.” — Anne Morrow Lindbergh, American writer

48. “If you just communicate, you can get by. But if you communicate skillfully, you can work miracles.” — Jim Rohn, entrepreneur and author

49. “Effective communication is 20 percent what you know and 80 percent how you feel about what you know.” — Jim Rohn, entrepreneur and author

50. “Communicate, communicate, communicate. It's about the people and it's about relationships. We cannot forget that."  ― Joel Allison, CEO of Baylor Scott & White Health

51. “Communication is your ticket to success if you pay attention and learn to do it effectively.” — Theo Gold, author

52. “Assumptions are the termites of relationships.” — Henry Winkler, American actor

53. “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” — George Bernard Shaw, Irish playwright

54. “The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said.” — Peter Drucker,  Austrian-American management consultant, educator, and author

55. “Nothing in life is more important than the ability to communicate effectively.” — Gerald Ford, 38th U.S. president

56. “Excellent communication doesn’t just happen naturally. It is a product of process, skill, climate, relationship, and hard work.” — Pat MacMillan, author

57. “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, Canadian-American motivational speaker

58. “I motivate players through communication, being honest with them, having them respect and appreciate your ability and your help.” — Tommy Lasorda, American baseball manager.

59. “There is no communication that is so simple that it cannot be misunderstood.” — Luigina Sgarro, executive coach

60. “Although we live in an information technology age, we often find ourselves in failure to communicate situations.”  — Johnny Tan, career coach and mentor

61. “Every act of communication is a miracle of translation.” — Ken Liu, American writer

62. “All communication must lead to change.” ― Aristotle, Greek philosopher

63. “The void created by the failure to communicate is soon filled with poison, drivel, and misrepresentation.” — C. Northcote Parkinson, British naval historian

64. “The better we are at communicating, the better our lives will be.” — Yama Mubtaker, author

65. “How well we communicate is not determined by how well we say things but how well we are understood.” — Andrew Grove, engineer and CEO

66. “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.” — Anthony Robbins, American author and keynote speaker

Nonverbal communication quotes

The following quotes highlight the importance of paying attention to nonverbal cues like body language to better understand whatever words are spoken. 

67. “When the eyes say one thing, and the tongue another, a practiced man relies on the language of the first.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist 

68. “Don't underestimate the power of the nonverbal. You'd be amazed how many people come in for interviews with poor posture, weak handshakes, and blank stares.” ― Nicole Williams, best-selling author

69. “I do listen. I just wait for the words to stop and your eyes to speak.” ― Richelle E. Goodrich, American author, novelist, and poet

70. “People's emotions are rarely put into words, far more often they are expressed through other cues. the key to intuiting another's feelings is in the ability to read nonverbal channels, tone of voice, gesture, facial expression and the like.” ― Daniel Goleman, psychologist and author

71. “Nonverbal communication is an elaborate secret code that is written nowhere, known by none, and understood by all.” ― Edward Sapir, American anthropologist

Motivational quotes about teamwork

The following inspirational quotes are about teamwork and success. 

72. “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.” — Michael Jordan, former NBA player

73. “One man can be a crucial ingredient on a team, but one man cannot make a team.”— Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, former NBA basketball player

74. “The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.” — Phil Jackson, former NBA player, coach, and executive

75. “Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.” — Ryunosuke Satoro, Japanese writer

76. “It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” — Harry Truman, 33rd U.S. president 

77. “Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.” — Steve Jobs, Apple co-founder and former chair and CEO 

78. “No matter how brilliant your mind...if you’re playing a solo game, you’ll always lose out to a team.” — Reid Hoffman, American entrepreneur

79. “I’m not the smartest fellow in the world, but I sure can pick smart colleagues.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd U.S. president

80. “None of us, including me, ever do great things. But we can all do small things, with great love, and together we can do something wonderful.” — Mother Teresa, Indian-Albanian Catholic nun

81. “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” — African proverb

82. “Not finance. Not strategy. Not technology. It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both because it is so powerful and rare.” — Patrick Lencioni, American author

83. “I’ve never scored a goal in my life without getting a pass from someone else.” — Abby Wambach, American soccer player

84. “No one can whistle a symphony, It takes a whole orchestra to play it.” — Halford E. Luccock, American minister and professor

85. "The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don't play together, the club won't be worth a dime." — Babe Ruth, former MLB baseball player

The bottom line

A team’s success and a business’ success rely heavily on good communication between key players. We hope our blog inspires you to work on becoming an effective communicator. Remember, becoming a great communicator is learnable, and healthy communication leads to better relationships, both in the corporate world and in your personal life.

To learn more about how Textline and SMS is improving communication for businesses and customers, read our blog.

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