Relationships: 3 Basic Communication Skills

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Credit: Pavan Trikutam in

3 Basic Communication Skills

Respond Better, Listen More, and Value Others

by J.M. Troppello

Communication is an important factor in cultivating positive and productive relationships in your life, both personally and professionally.

If most of your conversations end up in arguments, you might want to think about improving your communication skills. Maybe your conversations don’t get that tense, but you have issues listening to what people are saying. You might have issues valuing other people and think that your opinion is the only one that matters.

You can read my article, Ten Ways to Improve Your Communication Skills, which shares comprehensive details on how to enhance the way you communicate with others.

However, this article gives a quick overview of the three basic communication skills which can significantly improve your interactions with others—if you actually apply them to your relationships.

1. Respond, Don’t React

“Respond, don’t react. Listen, don’t talk. Think, don’t assume.” – Raji Lukkoor

I can joke about this now that I used to be a serial reactor and only added more drama and conflict to my relationships. However, in the moment, those actions weren’t funny. They were harmful to me and to those I reacted to.

I can blame my reactions on my dysfunctional childhood. Yet, that would make me a victim and not a victor. Yes, that dysfunction played a big part in how I learned to communicate—yelling emotionally and acting out in fear instead of responding rationally.

But, through a long and arduous road of personal development, I’ve learned how to respond to people maturely rather than react to them immaturely.

There is a big difference.

Those who react usually fly off the handle easily. They yell and get extremely emotional. All rational thought flies out the window.

Those who respond can take a breath and focus on taming their emotions. They respond with a rational mind and can converse with respect.

I still mess up sometimes.

However, I’ve mostly turned away from my reactionary tendencies and am now a mature responder. My relationships have flourished because of this positive and productive change.

You can become a more mature communicator as well when you learn how to control your emotions and communicate with a clear and rational mindset.

2. Learn to Listen More

“We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” – Epictetus

I’ve always been a good listener.

However, through the years, I’ve learned how to listen even more. If you want to become a better communicator, you need to follow the advice of the Greek philosopher, Epictetus and listen more than you speak.

That quote from Epictetus sounds so basic, but this article is all about streamlining the issue of mature conversation, so it fits right in. Whenever you feel like talking over someone or are rushing to get your thought out before you forget it, think about how you have two ears and one mouth.

You need to listen more than you speak if you want to cultivate positive and productive relationships.

3. Value Other People

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

In the world today, valuing people has become a lost art. People are so divided. Civility is no longer the first option. Yet, valuing other people is a crucial factor in building better relationships.

You need to realize that the world does not revolve around you. I know, that may be a hard pill to swallow. Yet, once you absorb that sentiment, it can open up so many doors for you personally and professionally.

Wouldn’t you rather have people gravitate toward you because you are an emotionally mature adult who values other people—rather than a whiny immature individual who must manipulate people to be around them?

I know all about the latter. I used to be an emotional manipulator. It was a learned behavior from my childhood.

Now, I’ve grown into the former. There is so much more freedom in being an emotionally mature individual. Yes, you’ll mess up some of the times. No one is perfect. Yet, your relationships will be so much more rewarding

Cultivate Positive and Productive Relationships

Implement these three basic steps into your personal and professional relationships and you will likely see a change in your interactions with others. Become a mature responder, learn to listen more, and start truly valuing people.

Article syndicated by Inspiration Realm on


About the Author

JM Troppello wearing a white hat and floral scarf at Mustard Seed Sentinel

J.M. Troppello is an author, writer, and poet. She is the publisher of the online Christian lifestyle magazine, Mustard Seed Sentinel.

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