Good Communication Starts by Changing Three Things

by Betty Lochner on March 1, 2016

The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field or endeavor. ~ Vince Lombardi

child kissing pig

I really like this quote – it reminds me that to be excellent in an area of your life you have to choose excellence and be totally committed to it.  Like the kid kissing the pig, you have to be all in.

Most relationships struggle with communication in some way.  Quite simply, when we are communicating well with someone, things go so much better than when we aren’t. A personal commitment to strive for better communication is the place to start.

So, what makes a good communicator?  It’s the small stuff.  And, I believe that there are three key areas that we should all start improving:

  1. Be a better listener,
  2. Pay attention to what we are paying attention to, and
  3. Be nice. Always.

Not only are these three areas the cornerstones to good communication, they are also areas where is it easy to make a few small changes that can make big differences in your relationships at work and at home.

Here’s how to start:

1. Listen more and talk less.

Use your active listening skills. Try saying “tell me more” instead of responding right away with your own point of view.  General rule: listen twice as much as you talk.

2. Pay attention and avoid distractions.

Turn off your phone and move away from your computer.  Make good eye contact and listen as if the information you are hearing will change your life.  Seriously. Then – and this is important – demonstrate you are paying attention by asking clarifying questions.

3. Being nice to everyone you encounter. This is a game changer. Positive communication starts with being nice.  A smile in your voice, your eyes, or a confirming nod are powerful communication tools.  Use them. Treat everyone the way you believe they would want to be treated in every situation and encounter you have.

Will your quality of life get better?  Absolutely yes.  I guarantee that if you focus on these areas, you will see remarkable and positive changes in your relationships.

Good communication changes everything.  And taking steps toward striving for excellence in your communication is the best place to start.


Ken and Betty LochnerBetty Lochner is the Owner of Cornerstone Coaching & Training. She specializes in personal and organizational transformation and is the author of  Dancing with Strangers: Communication skills for transforming your life at work and at home, and 52 Communication Tips. To find out more about Cornerstone’s services and offerings visit our website:   – See more at:

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Karri Gottleber February 14, 2011 at 3:50 am

This actually answered my problem, thank you!

2 nursing assistant January 14, 2011 at 5:47 pm

It’s really a nice and helpful piece of information. I’m glad that you shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

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