Eleven Rules for Confident Communication


I have two daughters, Carmen and Kayla, and a son, Phillip.  I want the world for them.  I’m constantly thinking about how my behavior shapes their behavior and what lessons I can teach that will have a lasting impact on their lives.

One thing I strive to teach them is the importance of communication: the power of the language they use.

Linguists have long pointed to young women as being at the forefront of language change within our culture.

That’s powerful.

When I think about this, two things immediately come to mind…

If you’re a young woman, you’re modeling, learning and demonstrating the power of communication, which influences those around you.


If you’re a person of influence in the life of a young woman (a mentor, colleague, boss, mom, dad, aunt/uncle, sister, brother etc.) you’re contributing to how she communicates and influences those around her.

The end result changes the way we communicate as a society, for better or worse.

Which made me think…What are the communication skills we need to use and model for others?

I came up with eleven rules for clear, confident and kind communication.

Here they are.

1.)  Listen.

Take the time to listen to what someone else has to say. Confident communicators don’t need or want to be the one talking all the time.

2.)  Ask good questions.

Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. The more you ask, the more you learn.

3.) Be honest.

Honesty is the best policy, with yourself and others.

4.) Be clear and concise.

Fewer words = clearer message.

5.)  Be unapologetic.

Save “I’m sorry” for mistakes. Don’t take away the power of an apology for when it’s needed.

6.) Ask for help.

Confident communicators know when they don’t know something and are willing to ask others for help.

7.) Be polite.

A warm smile, and words like “please, thank you, you’re welcome” are appreciated. They take no time to add and never go out of style.

8.) Stop complaining, about yourself and others.

Nothing good comes from complaining, especially about yourself.  It’s contagious. Don’t spread it around.

9.) Speak with certainty.

Call it whatever you want (uptalk, insecure speech,etc.). Questions end with a rising tone, not statements.

10.) Eliminate jargon and acronyms.

Use language that’s plain and easy understand. No one has ever said, “thank you for making that complex and hard to understand.”

11.) Reduce fillers/qualifiers. 

Like, um, ya know, just, kinda, sorta, might be, right? etc.

These rules apply to all of us. They’re the rules I strive to follow and model for my kids. 

We’re responsible for demonstrating good communication skills to each other.

We have the power to change the way our society communicates.

Communication is the most powerful gift we’ve been given.

How will you use yours?

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please leave them in the comments below!

6 replies
  1. J Lyttle
    J Lyttle says:

    Love! (As usual ;)) but being in a position of influence—working with high school students, I see this every day (and it’s scary!). As little as I feel sometimes, I know how much I’m looked up to. And not just at home, but in my workplace. I love it and this is a huge reminder on how much my communication trickles down to communication of the future!

  2. searchingformyinnerzen
    searchingformyinnerzen says:

    What a fantastic set of rules! It’s crazy how in a world that is more connected than ever before we are loosing the basic skill of communication.

    Body language is also an important part of communicating as you can be saying all the right things but your body language may be sending out a different message. I also try and encourage my children to maintain eye contact as this builds a deep connection and trust with others.

    • practicallyspeakingsite
      practicallyspeakingsite says:

      YES! Body language is important too. When there’s a discrepancy between body and words we default to choosing what the body is saying. Kudos to you for teaching your kiddos how to make and maintain eye contact. We want/need to see and be seen, and it starts there! Thanks, as always, for dropping in!


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