There is one activity we each do every day, all day long, in every area of our lives—at home, at work, with friends, even when we’re alone. The success of our relationships, our work, and life in general rests heavily on it, yet few of us ever receive explicit training in this area.

I’m talking about communication. We’re social creatures, and good communication is perhaps one of the most essential skills for a meaningful life. Poor communication is one of the primary causes of divorce, and as much as 85% of job success comes from having strong soft skills like communication and relationship building.

The fact is, we’ve all had communication training. It’s generally just been unconscious and unintentional—we pick up whatever is around us in our family, culture and society, and do the best we can to get by.

If you’re interested in improving your relationships, advancing in your career, or enhancing your capacity for change in life in general, communication is a powerful lever. Here are five core practices you can start using today to improve your communication. These are both foundations and advanced practices. The difference lies in the quality of your attention and depth of your investigation.
The five core practices that Oren identifies and discusses are...

1. Lead with presence.
2. Listen completely.
3. Come from curiosity and care.
4. Focus on what matters.
5. Pause; remember the option to stay silent.

5 Core Practices for More Meaningful Conversations
— by Oren Jay Sofer