A Listener’s Guide to the Basics of Communication

Communication isn't easy—whether it's talking with your manager, romantic partner, friend, or family, effective communication (through talking, writing, or even texting), can be a struggle. That's where we come in. Listen on to pick up some tips about the subtle art of communication. 

Joe Muscolino
3-minute read


Communication may come naturally to us, but it can also be the source of some very awkward moments. That’s because communication has evolved into an artform, one that’s taken on enough complexity and nuance for a booming market to take shape and turn you into the smoothest talker in town. There are over 300,000 search results in the Books section of Amazon for the word “communication” alone.

Even now, this is me communicating with you, and let me tell you: it’s not easy. One of the key ingredients to effectively communicate is lost in the internet of things, and that’s knowing your audience. I can’t know you! You wound up here from Google knows where.

True, my web analytics tell me you’re more likely to be a woman in her thirties. Someone whose guilty snack pleasure is Pretzel M&Ms and who is on the fence about buying a pre-owned Toyota Camry. (OK, not really. We haven’t sprung for analytics that advanced!) But it’s still a guess.

And this form of communication--the online article--is simply indicative of the expansion and fragmentation of our brave new world of communication: We talk to more people, more quickly, and through more mediums--each with their own unique communication etiquette--than ever before.

This is where QDT’s subject matter experts come in to hopefully hold your attention long enough so that you pick up a new idea or two about the subtle art of communicating with...well, with whomever. Be it with your coworkers, your loved ones, or yourself, the episodes below will explore how your audience informs your message.  

How To… Communicate with Coworkers.

We all like to feel useful and give feedback when we have ideas to share, but it’s easy to make a misstep… right onto someone else’s toes. Get-it-Done Guy explains how to give advice to colleagues the right way with a minimum of drama.

How To… Communicate with Loved Ones.

20% of couples feel that their relationships have been negatively impacted by smartphone use. Learn how to enhance communication with your significant other both on- and offline.

How To… Communicate with Yourself.

If you’re feeling insecure, chances are you’re comparing yourself to someone else--someone who might not even be a real person. Savvy Psychologist explains how to adjust your thinking and be a little kinder to yourself.

How To… Communicate with Family.

Are you a busy parent with busy kids? Then you know how quickly family check-ins can get lost in the shuffle. Don’t feel like a stranger in your own home--follow Mighty Mommy’s advice to get your family on the same page.

How To… Communicate with Friends.

Technology helps us protect ourselves from uncertainty, but it means we’re less prepared for uncertainty in the real world when it arises. Savvy Psychologist explains how technology can sometimes hit our sore spots and why it’s important to still get plenty of facetime with the people you love.

How To… Text Better.

Every text-based medium is different and has different writing conventions. Fortunately, Get-it-Done Guy knows when you should be descriptive and when you should lean on the side of direct, concise language.

How To… Communicate About Money.

When you’re in a new relationship, it can be easy to abandon all practicality and mismanage your money. Resist that urge! Money Girl explains how to make sure you spend carefully and look before you leap into a major money mess.

BONUS: How Does Human Language Differ From Animal Communication?

If you read Grammar Girl regularly, you know how complex and sophisticated language is. But do our pets have a language too? Grammar Girl explains the differences between human and animal language and how we know that human communication is more advanced.