Relationships are the cornerstone of our lives, whether they’re with family, friends, partners, or colleagues. And at the heart of every successful relationship lies one crucial element: communication.

Effective communication connects us and fosters understanding, empathy, and trust.

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion it has taken place.” — George Bernard Shaw, writer

But communication is more than just exchanging words; it’s about truly listening to one another, validating feelings and beliefs (even if they’re not shared), and expressing ourselves authentically. When we communicate effectively, we create a safe space where both parties feel heard and valued.

One of the biggest challenges in communication is often the fear of vulnerability. We may hesitate to express our true thoughts and feelings out of fear of judgement or rejection. But it’s this vulnerability that deepens connection and by sharing our innermost thoughts and emotions, we invite intimacy and strengthen the bond with our loved ones.

Communication isn’t just about speaking… 

…it’s also about understanding non-verbal cues, such as body language and tone of voice. Paying attention to these subtle signals can provide valuable insights into the thoughts and emotions of those we’re communicating with, helping us respond with empathy and sensitivity.  This has become harder with the advent of technology and hybrid working but we can still tune in to body language via a screen.  Keeping video cameras is a great start!

Communication and conflict 

Then there’s communication through conflict, an inevitable part of human relationships. Effective communication is key to resolving these conflicts constructively. So rather than resorting to blame or defensiveness, engage your active listening skills, empathise, and open your mind to compromise.  All of this can help find common ground and strengthen the relationship in the process.

Ultimately, nurturing strong, healthy relationships requires a commitment to continuous communication and mutual respect. By keeping an open dialogue, bringing empathy and vulnerability, we can cultivate meaningful connections that enrich our lives.

Build a relationship with yourself 

Coaching aims to help raise your self-awareness and build a relationship with yourself, where you can listen to your needs and act accordingly.  It creates a safe, non-judgmental space where you’re able to express your thoughts, beliefs and vulnerabilities.  This freedom often opens the door to true insight and ultimately the answers you’re looking for.

Ayesha Murray is an experienced EMCC accredited coach and a qualified Emotions Coaching Practitioner. She has a successful podcast, The Parent Equation and has chaired a panel discussion at the House of Commons on Parental Support reform.  Find out more about Ayesha –