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Communication is one of the basic components of how we live our lives. It’s a foundation of society and civilization as a whole. And the better we become at navigating through all of our various communication options, the more fulfilled and productive we will become. You have the capability to communicate with myriad people and groups in faraway places, as well as just next door or the room down the hall. In all of those interactions, the sender and recipient of each message brings their own context, purpose, and perspective. Your communication will be much more effective if you think about those differences before sending and especially before responding to people.

Sometimes thinking so deeply about a simple conversation seems overwhelming and unnecessary, but keeping in mind the reasons you’re communicating and focusing on the words you use can lead to better relationships and outcomes. Listening, practicing empathy, and working on your cultural competence will enrich you and the people around you.

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© Sep 20, 2023 OpenStax. Textbook content produced by OpenStax is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License . The OpenStax name, OpenStax logo, OpenStax book covers, OpenStax CNX name, and OpenStax CNX logo are not subject to the Creative Commons license and may not be reproduced without the prior and express written consent of Rice University.