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Improve Your Project’s Communication With These Inspirational Quotes

written by: Sidharth Thakur • edited by: Linda Richter • updated: 9/6/2012

Is your project suffering because of communication problems? Do you want to improve your projects' performance by ensuring better communication? Project communication can be tricky to deal with, but not after you read these wise quotes that will guide you on nearly every aspect of it.

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    Inspirational Quotes on Business and Project Communication

    The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. -George Bernard Shaw Quote 1: "The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." – George Bernard Shaw

    This is something that happens way too frequently in projects. We tend to believe that people have been informed while not ensuring whether the information has reached its ultimate destination. In most cases, a single mode of communication like an oral order or a written instruction may not be enough to convey the message in its entirety, and thus must be supplemented in writing or speech for the communication to be complete.

    Quote 2: "We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak." – Epictetus

    That is so true a fact! But do we really follow it in practical situations? Whether it’s on the field or in the meeting room, everyone wants to talk and no one is willing to listen. Being a good talker doesn’t make anyone a good communicator; what is equally important is to be a good listener as well.

    Quote 3: "To listen well is as powerful a means of communication and influence as to talk well." – John Marshall

    In line with the one you’ve just read, here’s another quote that stresses the importance of listening.

    Quote 4: "Good communication does not mean that you have to speak in perfectly formed sentences and paragraphs. It isn’t about slickness. Simple and clear go a long way." – John Kotter

    Eloquent style, immaculate grammar and a splendid vocabulary – you need to work on all these things if you want to be a public speaker or a creative writer. In projects, we don’t need ostentatious language, instead what we need is simple and crisp messages that convey the right meaning and that can be easily understood by everyone on the team.

    Quote 5: "Examine what is said and not who speaks." -- Unknown

    This one is an African proverb, which aptly addresses one of the major hindrances in project communication. Often during project meetings, people are biased and they tend to be more concerned about who is speaking rather than what is being said. Especially when dealing with critical issues, the more important thing is the information rather than the source of information.

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    Communication problems are often the major underlying reason for project failures. Still, project teams pay least attention to this important aspect. There are many quotes by thinkers and management experts that emphasize the importance of communication and its inseparable elements. Here are some great quotes on project communication that are both inspiring and guiding. Although most of these quotes explicitly address business communication-related issues and are fairly easy to understand, we’ve also got brief interpretations of the quotes, just in case you miss out on the deeper meanings hidden in them.

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    Quote 6: "Two men in a burning house must not stop to argue." -- Unknown

    Here’s another lovely proverb from the African arsenal that applies well to project communication. It is not the best time to argue when a project is in the midst of a crisis. The non-productive arguments and discussions are best left for a later time. When faced with risks or issues, the righteous approach would be to work together and get out of the situation instead of getting into confrontational arguments and discussions.

    Wikimedia Commons, Yogi Berra+ 

    Quote 7: "It was impossible to get a conversation going, everybody was talking too much." – Yogi Berra

    That’s a bit of a confusing quote by Yogi Berra, but when looked upon more seriously it has a strong message to convey. How can you expect good communication if everyone is just talking and making noise? For communication to be productive, the noise should be the least, irrespective of whether it is a verbal or written communication. Noise is a major hurdle in the communication process; still it is often overlooked in business communication.

    Quote 8: "Skill in the art of communication is crucial to a leader’s success. He can accomplish nothing unless he can communicate effectively." – Anthony Robbins

    To be a successful leader, the very first prerequisite is to be a good communicator. It is the communication skill of the leader that helps him to influence and guide his team. So, if you want to be a leader the first thing you need to work on is your communication skills.

    Quote 9: "You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can't get them across, your ideas won't get you anywhere." – Lee Iacocca

    What good is an idea that stays just in the mind? If you have an idea, speak it out and let your team members know about it. It doesn’t matter if the idea gets rejected by others; what is more important is to put it forward for examination and discussion. If you’re a leader, you must always motivate and inspire your team members to contribute their ideas.

    Quote 10: "The less people know, the more they yell." – Seth Godin

    The people who do most of the talking and yelling are the people who should be heard least. If someone has a strong and valid argument, it’s rare to have that person yell or shout to get others to listen to him. A logical argument or suggestion never needs to be shouted out; people will listen to it as long as it is logical, reasonable and well presented. During project meetings, it’s best to avoid wasting time on people who just keep raising their voice every time they repeat their words.

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    Quote 11: "Words should be used as tools of communication and not as a substitute for action." -- Unknown

    Communication is a tool to help with the planning and execution of a project, and can never replace the actual actions or execution. The role of project communication is to inspire, instigate, inform or educate and ultimately lead to a desired action. Project communication is not a well presented collection of words; rather it is something that propels a series of actions.

    Quote 12: "Words are a wonderful form of communication, but they will never replace kisses and punches." – Ashleigh Brilliant

    That’s a beautiful quote that stresses on the importance of non-verbal communication. There are times and situations where non-verbal communication works more than meticulously composed lines.

    Wikimedia Commons, Anthony Robbins 

    Quote 13: "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

    Understanding and implementing this quote in project communications are all the more important because every project has teams and stakeholders with different backgrounds, which is usually the reason for a good number of communication problems. The project teams are diverse in terms of organizational cultures as well as professional and educational backgrounds. The communicator must understand these diversities and the way different people and different groups tend to perceive the same message differently, when communicating with the project teams.

    Quote 14: "The more elaborate our means of communication, the less we communicate." – Joseph Priestley

    While most people would differ on this one, the fact remains that the more elaborate our means of communication, the less we actually communicate. Stretch the communication process longer or make it more procedural, you will instantly observe that the frequency and the depth and details of the messages will take a nosedive.

    Quote 15: "What is the shortest word in English language that contains the letters abcdef? Answer: Feedback. Don’t forget that feedback is one of the essential elements of good communication." -- Unknown

    This one was intentionally meant to be the last on this list of 15 great quotes on project communication. Feedback: That is one phase of the communication process that most people tend to ignore, but this is one of the most essential parts of the communication process. Communication is never complete or meaningful till the initiator of the message receives feedback from the receiver. It is the feedback that determines whether or not the communication has been successful.

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    This is our list of the 15 best quotes applicable to project communication. These quotes cover nearly every important aspect of communication; however, if you have some more interesting quotes on business or project communication to add on to this list, we’d love to hear them.