Catalyst Quotes

Compiled by Alex Pena ~ ‘Catalyst’: “to spark, to ignite, energize, mobilize; something that accelerates a reaction (DDI)." Thought-provoking & motivational quotes and stories for you to read, reflect on and move forward in making creative and positive changes in your life.

Archive for the category “Communication”

“Set the Tone Every Day” / “If Not You, Who?”



“To lead the people, walk beside them.”   (Lao Tzu)




“Set the tone every day.  You may think you can’t change the corporate culture, but you’re actually helping to build it with everything you do and every word you utter.  Your people look to you as a model.  So pay attention to the signals you send about what you value and believe in.”   (Lost & Found, the story of how one man discovered the secrets of leadership, Lyle Sussman, Ph.D., Sam Deep, & Alex Stiber)




“Really believe in your heart of hearts that your fundamental purpose, the reason for being, is to enlarge the lives of others.  Your life will be enlarged also.  And all of the other things we have been taught to concentrate on will take care of themselves.”   (Pete Thigpen, Executive Reserves)




“Every single person you meet has a ‘sign’ around his or her neck that says, ‘Make me feel important.’  If you can do that, you’ll be a success, not only in business but in life as well.”   (Mary Kay Ash)




“Perhaps the ten most important two-letter words ever put together:  ‘If it is to be, it is up to me.’”   (Unknown Author)




“If not you, who?

If not now, when?”   (Abraham Maslow)



“Listen With Your Eyes”


“A little girl came home from school with a drawing she’d made in class.  She danced into the kitchen where her mother was preparing dinner.

‘Mom, guess what?’ she squealed waving the drawing.  Her mother never looked up.

‘What?’ she said, tending to the pots.

‘Guess what?’ the child repeated, waving the drawings.

‘What?’ the mother said, tending to the plates.

‘Mom, you’re not listening.’

‘Sweetie, yes I am.’

‘Mom’ the child said ‘you’re not listening with your EYES.’”   (Mitch Albom, Have a Little Faith:  A True Story)



“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”   (Leo Buscaglia)



“The key is being truly interested in listening.”   (Shirley Tilghman, President, Princeton University)



“Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force.  The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward.  When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand.”   (Karl Menninger)



“Listening is an art.  When people are speaking it requires that they have our undivided attention.  We focus on them; we listen very carefully.  We listen to the spoken words and the unspoken messages.  This means looking directly at the person, eyes connected … just focusing for that moment on that person.  It’s called respect, it’s called appreciation, it’s called anticipation ….”   (Frances Hesselbein, The Art of Listening)



“Listening, not imitation, may be the sincerest form of flattery.”   (Dr. Joyce Brothers)



“I remind myself every morning:  Nothing I say this day will teach me anything.  So if I’m going to learn, I must do it by listening.”   (Larry King)



”If the person you are talking to doesn’t appear to be listening, be patient.  It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear.”   (A. A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh)


“Change the World, Change Your Words”


The world is perfect.  It’s a mess.  It has always been a mess.  We are not going to change it.  Our job is to straighten out our own lives.”   (Joseph Campbell)



“Every morning is a fresh beginning.  Every day is the world made new. Today is a new day. Today is my world made new.  I have lived all my life up to this moment, to come to this day. This moment — this day — is as good as any moment in all eternity.  I shall make of this day — each moment of this day — a heaven on earth.  This is my day of opportunity.”   (Dan Custer)



“You can change your world by changing your words.  Remember, death and life are in the power of the tongue.”   (Joel Osteen)



“I am constantly trying to communicate something incommunicable, to explain something inexplicable, to tell about something I only feel in my bones and which can only be experienced in those bones. Basically it is nothing other than this fear we have so often talked about, but fear spread to everything, fear of the greatest as of the smallest, fear, paralyzing fear of pronouncing a word, although this fear may not only be fear but also a longing for something greater than all that is fearful.”   (Franz Kafka, Letters to Milena:  Expanded and Revised, in a New Translation)



“It was impossible to get a conversation going, everybody was talking too much.”   (Yogi Berra)



“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.”   (Anthony Robbins)



“Words are a wonderful form of communication, but they will never replace kisses and punches.”   (Ashleigh Brilliant)


“Words, Communication and Who/What You Are”


Words are just words and without heart they have no meaning.”     (Chinese Proverb)



“The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said.”    (Peter F. Drucker)



“Who you are speaks so loudly I can’t hear what you’re saying.”     (Ralph Waldo Emerson)



“If I were to summarize in one sentence the single most important principle I have learned in the field of interpersonal relations, it would be this:  Seek first to understand, then to be understood.  This principle is the key to effective interpersonal communication.”    (Stephen Covey)



“The basic building block of good communications is the feeling that every human being is unique and of value.”    (Unknown)



“In the last analysis, what we are communicates far more eloquently than anything we say or do.”    (Stephen Covey)


“Waiting for a Magical Day? Pick a Path with Heart”


“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”         (Joseph Campbell)



“I know what it’s like.  I’ve seen it played out a zillion times.  You’re waiting for that magical day when someone makes the connection and recognizes who you really are.  Maybe they’ll first catch the sparkle in your eye.  Or perhaps they’ll marvel at your insights and the depth of your spirit. Someone who will help you connect the dots, believe in yourself, and make sense of it all. Someone who will understand you, approve of you, and unhesitatingly give you a leg up so that life can pluck your ready, ripened self from the branch of magnificence.  Well, I’m here to tell you, your wait is over.  That someone, is you.”     (‘Notes from the Universe,’ ©Mike Dooley)



“Every positive change — every jump to a higher level of energy and awareness — involves a rite of passage.  Each time to ascend to a higher rung on the ladder of personal evolution, we must go through a period of discomfort, of initiation.  I have never found an exception.”    (Dan Millman)



“Success on any major scale requires you to accept responsibility . . .  In the final analysis, the one quality that all successful people have is the ability to take on responsibility.”       (Michael Korda)



“All paths are the same, leading nowhere.  Therefore, pick a path with heart!  . . . Look at every path closely and deliberately, then ask ourselves this crucial question:  Does this path have a heart?  If it does, then the path is good.  If it doesn’t, it is of no use.”        (Carlos Castaneda)


“Delicious Ambiguity”


“Tell me what company you keep, and I’ll tell you what you are.”      (Miguel de Cervantes)


“If others tell us something we make assumptions, and if they don’t tell us something we make assumptions to fulfill our need to know and to replace the need to communicate.   Even if we hear something and we don’t understand we make assumptions about what it means and then believe the assumptions.   We make all sorts of assumptions because we don’t have the courage to ask questions.”       (Miguel Ruiz,The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom)


“I have no right, by anything I do or say, to demean a human being in his own eyes. What matters is not what I think of him; it is what he thinks of himself.  To undermine a man’s self-respect is a sin.”      (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)


“I always wanted a happy ending …   Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle and end.   Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it without knowing what’s going to happen next.   Delicious ambiguity.”      (Gilda Radner)


“Just Blow Another One”


“The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood.   The best way to understand people is to listen to them.”  (Ralph Nichols )


Be the change you seek to make in the world.”   Leaders must embody the values and principles they want other people to adopt.   This famous Gandhi quote reminds us all — executives with associates, political leaders with followers, or parents with children — that one of the most important tasks is personal:   to be a role model, exemplifying the best of what the change is all about.”    (Rosabeth Moss Kanter,  (One of) Seven Truths about Change to Lead By and Live By, Harvard Business Review)


“One might take children’s philosophy to heart.   They do not despise a bubble because it burst; they immediately set to work to blow another one.”    (EDGE Keynote)



What Did You Say?

“There is a story about an older man who made an appointment with his doctor for a physical.   He went into the doctor’s office and sat down, but then confided that he didn’t really need a checkup.   Rather, he was a little concerned about his wife’s hearing.   She was a little defensive about getting older and he didn’t want to upset her by bringing up the possibility that she was losing her hearing. 

He asked his doctor what he could do to determine how bad her hearing was, short of bringing her in for tests.  The doctor suggested that he go home and, while his wife was in the kitchen, he should go to the back of the house and start calling her name.   If she didn’t respond, he was to move forward and keep calling her name until she did respond.   Then he could estimate the distance and report it to the doctor.

He went home and found his wife cooking dinner in the kitchen.   He quickly went to the back of the house and called her name.   No response.   He moved forward into the living room and called again.  Nothing.   He went to the dining room and called.   Still no response.

Finally, he opened the kitchen door and called her one last time in desperation.   She turned around in frustration and said, “What do you want?   I have already answered you three times!”        (Unknown Author)


While attending a Marriage Seminar dealing with communication, Tom and his wife Grace listened to the instructor, “It is essential that husbands and wives know each other’s likes and dislikes.”   He addressed the man, “Can you name your wife’s favorite flower?”   Tom leaned over, touched his wife’s arm gently and whispered, “It’s Pillsbury, isn’t it?       (Unknown)


“If the person you are talking to doesn’t appear to be listening, be patient.  It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear.”      (Winnie the Pooh)

Be sure to show interest in what people are saying, listen to them as opposed to hearing them and show them the respect they deserve.               ~  GMUniverse

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