Tony repeats often that “The way we communicate with others and ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our lives.”
And it’s true.
If you listen to talks of successful people (not just financially) a pattern emerges, they all highlight the role that communication played to their success.
If you can improve on this one skill it will help you in all areas of your life, not just your career.
Working on communication skills can help you in your relationship, how you talk to and feel about yourself, and the way you experience the world around. It all comes from how you observe the world around and how you translate the lived experience in your mind.
Communication is really THE foundation.
Sales, marketing, relationships, marriage, business, influence, storytelling, leadership all depend on this one skill that is communication. There are many different mediums in which you can effectively communicate like audio, written, visuals, body language, tone of voice etc.
This list of quotes on communication by Tony Robbins is a compilation from me having listened to hours of his talks and seminars.
The focus is on actionable lessons and insights, not just meaningless one-off quotes that won’t help or that you’ll forget a week later. Hopefully it serves as a reminder and something you can draw inspiration from to focus and work on improving your communication skills.
Tony Robbins Communication Quotes:
This first section is on the importance of communication, why it’s worth focusing on.
1. Greatest Investment
“Everybody knows Warren Buffett. I mean, here’s a man who’s so smart because his entire life has been about finding the value, but he also has learned how to communicate that, you know, when I asked him what’s the greatest investment he ever made in his life? He said, Tony, it’s what you do.”
Warren Buffett in an interview once said,
“Invest in yourself. The one easy way to become worth 50 percent more than you are now at least is to hone your communication skills — both written and verbal. If you can’t communicate, it’s like winking at a girl in the dark — nothing happens. You can have all the brainpower in the world, but you have to be able to transmit it. And the transmission is communication.”
2. The visionaries who shape culture and the future all developed this skill
“The people who shape our lives and our cultures have the ability to communicate a vision or a quest or a joy or a mission.”
3. Communication is the force that will shape the quality of your life.
“The quality of your life is directly related to the quality of your communication.”
Your entire life comes down to this. The quality of your life comes down to the quality of how you communicate. With whom Tony asks?
“Quality of your life starts with the quality of how you communicate to yourself. That’s where it all starts.
How you feel is not based on the environment.”
Is how you feel determined based on like whether you have lots of money?
No, it’s not the money, it’s how you communicate to yourself about the money, your lack of it or the abundance you think you have. It’s not the event that determines how we feel. It’s the meaning that we associate to the event, determines how we feel. And that meaning is something we create, and we communicate to ourselves.”
4. What goes on in your head?
“The way we communicate with others and ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our lives.”
Here’s a mindfulness practice worth trying for at least a week or a month.
Do you have positive or negative thought patterns? Does the voice in your head encourage or bring you down?
Some people have an idea that Yoga is this practice where you silence the mind. It’s that perception that discourages people from being consistent with this ritual.
Instead try sitting in a room for an hour completely isolated from the television, the smartphone or people. Let your thoughts come and wander and just be an observer and try to follow your train of thought.
How do you communicate with yourself? Where does your mind go to? Over a week or month you’ll notice patterns of how your mind just goes to different places. Be in-different to this and just ask why.
This is a great tie in to the next three insightful quote by Tony Robbins.
5. Focus = Feeling
“Whatever you focus on, you’re going to feel.”
“We get to decide what to focus on.”
7. The meaning you chooses creates an emotion
“When you come up with a meaning, it produces an emotion.”
In the talk Tony says, “It’s not that your mother or father death that’s giving you suffering.
Certainly that’s painful. It’s the meaning you think it shouldn’t have happened.
And we take control of the meaning. It’s the only thing we can control our lives. We can’t control events.”
Who’s ever focused or thought about something horrible going to happen. You experienced the pain of that failure, of that challenge in your life, and then it never happened?
When Tony was a child, a delivery guy brought a Turkey for thanksgiving because his family was poor. When Tony opened the door it was this euphoric moment for him, he was excited by the kindness of the stranger.
When his dad came to the door he went into a fit of rage.
Why? Tony says, “My father focused clearly on the fact that you’re not taking care of his family.”
Focus equals feeling, if you start to take control of your focus, you take control of your life. You can view yourself as a victim or being unlovable but that doesn’t make it true.
Quotes to improve your communication skills
Now that we’ve established the importance and significance communication can have in our lives I want to shift the focus of the next few quotes on how tips and actionable lessons we can use to begin improving our communication ability.
8. 50 shades of speech
“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world. Use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.”
“Rapport is power.”
“There’s somebody out there who has a life experience, the understanding, the network, the capital, the thing you need to be able to achieve it.
But they’re not going to give you what you want or need until you first give them what they want and need.
You’re not going to find out what they want and need until you first get in a relationship of rapport. If you don’t do that, you’re never gonna learn anything.
So remember, Rapport is power.”
10. How to effectively use questions.
“Questions are a tool used to dig for something.”
Tony recommends using questions as a way to pry into finding what’s common. But it’s not enough to just go through a list, it’s looking for a connection. Tony says,
“Now, is it possible to ask a few questions and have a conversation, go and just die? Is that possible? Yes or no? So, questions don’t create rapport. Questions are a tool used to dig for something. What are you digging for? When you ask these questions? You’re trying to find something in what? Common.”
This leads us to next Tony Robbins quote,
11. How Rapport is established
“Rapport is created by a feeling of commonality.”
12. How to be more compassionate when dealing with other people
“If you start judging other people, you’re also going to start judging yourself intensely. If you’re angry at other people there’s a very good chance you’re angry at yourself as well.” – Tony Robbins
“Instead of judging yourself and others decide (remember, these are decisions) right now to become curious instead of judgmental.
But remember, when you find fault in other people, when you start noticing constantly how they’ve wronged you, how this person is not good enough or they’re too egotistical, they’re too proud or they don’t really care about people.
As soon as you start judging other people, you just gotta remember something. If you start judging other people, you’re also going to start judging yourself intensely.
If you’re angry at other people there’s a very good chance you’re angry at yourself as well.
Maybe you perceive more and judge less.
Maybe instead of finding fault with other people without really thinking about what they’ve gone through to be where they are this day, maybe can get really curious about what’s making this person be in the state they’re in or what’s the motivation behind this person’s anger.
For example, a lot of times you think something’s being negative or angry or frustrated with them, but we never bothered to find out what’s really going on. I know myself.”
13. 7-8-35 rule of personal communication
“7-38-55 rule of personal communication. 7% is words, 38% is how you say it. It’s your tonality and the way you use your voice. 55% is how you communicate with your body.” – Tony Robbins
It’s tough but true that first impressions mean a lot. Humans are very good at knowing what they are looking for, it’s like a sixth sense to know when something or someone doesn’t feel ‘right’. We make snap decisions and we do judge books by their cover, even though we shouldn’t.
Tony in his talk mentions how, “Most people wait till they have enough words in common. Then they put the voice in common, and the body in common.
But words are only seven percent. They don’t work all the time.
And by the way, do we judge people in a matter of seconds by their style.”
“Style is more important than substance initially.”
We make a snap judgement about a person in seconds.
“That sounds terrible, but it’s true. Style is more important than substance initially. Now notice I say initially. If you don’t have any substance, it’s not going to last. But you can have lots of substance and no style and people never hear a word you say. No one will ever get to know what you believe.”
“Change your words, change your life.”
“You’re the one that puts the label on what things mean, and the last time you’re with me, I gave you a phrase when we talked about transformational vocabulary.
If you recall, transformational vocabulary is the idea that we get all these pictures and sounds and feelings and sensations start to come in our body, but we don’t know what it means to put a label on it.
So you got all these things and they feel uncomfortable. They feel kind of painful. And you call that humiliation. Will that intensify the feeling more than if you say, you know, I’m frustrated? You better believe it. The label we put on our experience becomes our experience and we are the person doing the labeling.
Now, granted, we all agree that most of us are on automatic pilot.
We’re using a labeling and a communication process that we don’t even think about consciously. And we can easily point to the people and show how they created that feeling for us.
What if I said something to you and I said in a way that made you feel disrespected?
It made you feel disrespected, or you took what I said, managed to interpret it, represent to yourself and communicate to yourself that my saying it in that tone of voice means I don’t respect you. Therefore, you can’t have these feelings.”
Quotes for Communication in a relationship
Your relationships, whether it be with friends, co-workers, family, significant others are a huge shaper of your happiness, sense of connection and belonging. It’s an area of life that’s worth spending time to get better at and that’s what this section of communication quotes we’ll focus next on.
When we’re so busy in our lives, there’s so much distraction all the time that we oftentimes let go of those things that are most important to us and they get habitual.
“In any relationship that gets habitual because you’re so busy where someone doesn’t feel your presence. Sometimes you don’t have to do anything. Just shut up and be there for them. It’s pretty magical, as simplistic as it sounds, but do something to keep the momentum going.”
17. The fourth discipline of love
“The Discipline of Honorable Language and Moment-to-Moment Awareness. This means being consciously aware of how your language, and presence, is impacting your partner.”
In this talk Tony mentions the five disciplines of love. The fourth one was around communication in a relationship. If you’re wondering what the other ones are here’s a quick synopsis:
1. The discipline of unconditional love & compassion
2. The discipline of absolute courage & vulnerability
3. The discipline of knowing the truth
4. The discipline of telling yourself the truth
5. The discipline of giving freedom
18. Being congruent vs placating
“Come from a place of congruency so people can feel when you say what you mean and you mean what you say versus when you’re placating.”
19. What’s the goal?
“Do you want to be right? Or do you want to be in love?”
20. Communication takes on two responses
“All communication is either a loving response or a cry for help” – Tony Robbins
“Communication is either a loving response or a cry for help.
That’s it, there’s only two kinds of responses. And so, in any communication with another human being, when they respond to you, they communicate to you, or they react to you. That reaction, that response, I don’t care what it looks like on the outside or what it seems like, it’s either a loving response or a cry for help.
They may be experiencing life in a way to put up their guard. Feeling a separation and underneath the hidden message is a cry for help.”
21. Art of listening
“How important is it to be able to really listen? Communication is hearing what is not being said.”
“And if you don’t have that, if all you do is take the words you’re going to have a disastrous, intimate relationship.
You’re going to probably have some really disastrous business relationships because most people don’t speak what they’re really feeling or saying. Most of the time they’re either scared, too afraid to, or they’re hiding their agenda because they have another agenda.”