What Is Great Communication? 4 Tips To Become A Great Financial Communicator

communication Feb 16, 2022

Great communication is an essential skill for almost everything in life. From success in the workplace to successful interpersonal relationships, knowing how to be a great communicator can help you connect to others in deeper and more profound ways.

One of the foundational skills in life is learning how to communicate well. It’s one of those lessons we should all learn when we’re children, yet it’s so often overlooked. If we only taught communication skills in schools we’d all be much better off. 

Great communication is all about connection. Communication is a two-way street. When communicating, you must be able to connect to the person you’re speaking with. This means not just being understood by the other person, but understanding them as well. 

To create understanding and connection you must be able to do a number of things including: 

  1. Expressing yourself clearly and succinctly in words
  2. Understanding the other person’s words
  3. Expressing the emotional content of your message. 
  4. Understanding the other person’s emotions. 


Tips to become a great communicator


Communication is more about listening than about speaking. Although most people focus more on what they want to say, listening is more important. Many people overlook the skill of listening when it comes to communication. They believe that as long as the other person understands them, then they’ve done a good job communicating. However, without listening skills communication is only one way and fails to create connection and understanding. This holds true whether the communication is in an intimate relationship, a parent speaking to a child, or an employer speaking to an employee. 

Listening to someone well means listening to two levels of their communication

  1. The words that they're saying 
  2. The emotions they’re sharing with you

For example, a person can say "everything is fine" in two completely different emotional tones and they can mean two completely different things. One person can indeed mean that everything is fine, the other means that things are far from fine despite the words they’re communicating. This is something many people experience in intimate relationships. It can cause a lot of confusion because the emotional tone of the statement is overlooked. 

This is how important understanding emotional context is to communication. When you're attuned to listening to someone you can more easily pick up on their emotions. This helps to build empathy and understanding between the speaker and the listener in a way that creates more authentic and trusting communication built on trust and connection.


Tips to listen better:

  • Paraphrase back to the other person what you just heard them say to make sure you understand both the information and the emotions involved.
  • Give non-verbal cues you're listening like nodding your head and maintaining eye contact.
  • Avoid interrupting or talking about your own issues. Instead, stay focused on the other person and what they're saying.
  • Listen to fully understand, not just to make your next point.
  • Put away distractions like your cell phone, turn off the television, and have important conversations in quiet places.



Having empathy is essential in communication.  Empathy means putting oneself in the other person's shoes.

When you can develop empathy in communication you're able to not just consider your own point or what you're trying to communicate. Rather, you are attempting to understand the other person's perspective and connect with their needs, wants, desires, and why they feel and think the way they do.

When you empathize with other people it encourages vulnerability and connection. People feel safer communicating with others if they feel understood by them. They also feel more willing to share challenging things when they don't fear being judged by the other person. 


Tips to Increase Empathy: 

  • Use phrases like "I understand where you're coming from" or "I can see why you feel the way you're feeling" to reinforce that you’re connecting with what the other person is saying. 
  • Paraphrase what others are saying and follow it up with "am I getting that right?" so that they can see that you truly understand them and can see their perspective. 
  • Ask follow-up questions that help you understand the other person's perspective on a deeper level. 
  • Communicate how important it is for you to understand the other person, even if you disagree. Say things like "even though I don't agree, I really appreciate you taking the time to help me understand your perspective more". 
  • Have gratitude when other people share and are vulnerable. Thank them for sharing and be authentically grateful for the risk they've taken to connect. 
  • Let the other person know that you care about their well-being. 
  • Communicate that it's you and the other person against a problem, not you against the other person. 
  • Use the active listening skills described above to improve empathy. 


Manage Your Stress

When you're feeling stressed or your emotions are elevated you can often misconstrue communication or make choices that you regret later. 

When you're able to keep your stress response in check you'll often feel better able to tune into and listen to what the other person is saying better. 

Something that happens with many people when communicating is called "emotional flooding". 

This is when someone becomes overwhelmed by their emotions and can't really hear the other person and what they're trying to communicate. When this happens the person who is flooded will often either withdraw from the conversation or will respond in a stressed and overemotional way. 

If you can take steps to manage emotional overwhelm and stress, your communication will improve. 


Tips to Manage Your Emotions and Stress:

  • Take time to think. Don't feel rushed to have a conversation when you're feeling emotional or stressed. Take time to cool off if you’ve just come home from a stressful day, take a few breaths, and return when you're feeling more centered. 
  • Take a time out during the conversation. There's nothing wrong with asking for 10 minutes to collect your thoughts so you can communicate more effectively and not say something you'll regret. 
  • Slow down the conversation. Often when people are stressed or emotional conversation happens quite quickly and things are said without much thought. Slow things down by taking a few breaths before speaking, asking a question, or asking for the other person to clarify or repeat themselves before you respond. Additionally, slowing down the rate of speech will allow the other person to hear you more effectively. 


Body Language

Up to 90% of communication is non-verbal. To be specific, 55% of communication is non-verbal, 38 % is communicated through tone of voice, and a mere 7% is communicated in words. This is why paying attention to non-verbal communication is essential to becoming a great communicator. 

Non-verbal communication includes body language, body movement, and position, gestures, posture, facial expressions, muscle tension, eye contact, and tone of voice. 

When you develop the ability to understand non-verbal communication you can better connect with other people and make them feel more understood. You can also pick up on inconsistencies in communication like when someones words say one thing but their posture says another. This can help you decipher the emotional tone or hidden meanings in communication more easily. 


Tips to improve non-verbal communication:

  • Improve your non-verbal communication by adopting a relaxed open posture. Do not cross your legs, turn toward the other person, maintain eye contact, and use body language to enhance what you're saying. 
  • Don't read into a single gesture or change of voice to mean something. Read groups of non-verbal cues as meaningful rather than looking at them singularly. 
  • Realize that different people have different non-verbal cues. For example, people in the US tend to stand closer and talk louder than in other countries where this might be perceived as aggressive. So be sure to take culture, age, gender, power dynamics, and emotional state into account when reading non-verbals. 
  • Make a conscious effort to create a positive non-verbal environment when having important conversations. This might mean sitting at an equal level at a table, sitting still rather than pacing or fidgeting, and maintaining an open facial expression to invite the other person to share more. 


Communication skills are one of the things we’ll be talking about in my upcoming course The Couples Guide to Financial Intimacy. This course is designed to take your relationship and your finances to a whole new level of intimacy and connection.

Would you like more 1 on 1 support to develop great financial communication skills? Then perhaps Therapy Informed Financial Planning is for the two of you. I invite you to schedule your free 30-minute discovery call today.

Wishing You Healthy Love and Money,

Ed Coambs



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