30 characteristics that help you be a better communicator

20 Jan 2022

Does your personality affect your ability to communicate well? The short answer is ‘Yes’. There are some characteristics that help you be a better communicator. Personality traits, or characteristics, do influence your ability to communicate. These characteristics don’t define your ability, but they do influence it. This is because personality isn’t the only factor. Nor is it the biggest factor. Learning specific skills and techniques has the biggest impact on our communication.

But, there are some characteristics that help you be better communicator.

  • Someone who is attentive will find it easier to apply active listening skills
  • Someone with confidence has fewer hurdles to overcome when presenting and public speaking

If you’re interested in which character traits influence our ability to communicate, take a look at the list of traits below.

Character traits and qualities that help with communication

Each of these character traits makes it easier to communicate in specific situations. Not every trait is helpful all the time. But many of the traits are useful in everyday communication situations.

Characteristics 1–10


  • Definition: Showing flexibility and versatility regardless of the situation
  • Good communicators can adapt their message and approach to match the situation


  • Definition: Being aware of and watchful
  • Being alert helps you see and react to feedback from the audience


  • Definition: Being bold and firm when needed
  • Sometimes good communication means making a point in the face of opposition


  • Definition: Paying careful attention to other or the situation
  • Personal conversations and negotiations are easier when we are attentive to the other person


  • Definition: Being honest, genuine, and displaying one’s true self
  • Authenticity supports credibility which increases the changes of successful communication


  • Definition: The desire and ability to look after and develop others
  • Personal conversations, leadership, and delivering bad news are better when we care


  • Definition:Having a pleasing personality; being appealing to others
  • Charisma helps influence those around us and build rapport with people we’ve just met


  • Definition: Sympathy and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others
  • Compassions helps shape difficult messages and makes it easier to listen with empathy


  • Definition: Being calm and in control of oneself
  • It is easier to pick the right communication approach when we are in control of ourselves


  • Definition: A feeling of self-assurance coming from appreciation of our own abilities or qualities
  • Difficult conversations, presentations, and public speaking are easier when we are confident

Characteristics 11-20


  • Definition: Careful not to cause inconvenience or hurt to others
  • Consideration for what impacts other people can shape our message. We have be more influential and avoid issues when we consider other people’s position


  • Definition: The ability to do something that frightens us
  • Courage helps us communicate in difficult situations. Even when we are nervous about how the message may be received


  • Definition: Being polite and respectful
  • Not being courteous can alienate your audience and reduce the effectiveness of your message


  • Definition: Being plain and straightforward
  • Plain and straightforward messages can provide clarity. Direct doesn’t mean blunt

Emotional intelligence

  • Definition: Our capacity to be aware of, control, and express emotions. And to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically
  • Without emotional intelligence our messages may cause unintended reactions in the audience


  • Definition: Able to recognize and identify with the emotions of others
  • Delivering bad news, listening to someone, active listening and more are all easier when you have empathy


  • Definition: Providing encouragement and assistance to others
  • Being encouraging is important if you want to inspire or motivate people


  • Definition: Showing eagerness, enjoyment, interest, or approval
  • Communicating your support for an idea needs the right type of enthusiasm to be believed


  • Definition: Being kind, pleasant, and acting in a way that befits others
  • Almost all communication is better when done in a friendly way.


  • Definition:Being sincere and true to what you feel
  • Communication that doesn’t appear genuine will not achieve the desired outcome

Characteristics 21-30 that help you be a better communicator


  • Definition: Honorable in intentions; straightforward in conduct
  • If you are not honest your communication will eventually be ignored. (or worse!)


  • Definition: Displaying honour and having noble principles
  • People believe and react better to messages that come from people with integrity. Even if the message is unwelcome


  • Definition: Being modest, not haughty, arrogant, or superior
  • People are turned off by arrogance. It is also easier to consider other people’s perspectives when you aren’t thinking of yourself


  • Definition: Having a viewpoint without bias or personal preference; clear-thinking
  • Many work situations require impartiality. Keeping personal preferences out of communication can make it more effective


  • Definition: Being tolerant of and accepting of the beliefs, ideas, and behavior of others, even when they oppose one’s own
  • Listening is a critical communication skill. You can’t listen properly if you aren’t open to hearing what other people say


  • Definition: Ability to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or inconvenience without getting angry
  • Active listening, difficult conversations, and conflict are all easier when you are patient


  • Definition: Ability to notice and interpret things others may overlook
  • Perceptive people find it easier to interpret the reaction to a message. They are usually better able to adapt based on real time feedback


  • Definition: Anticipating the best possible outcome; seeing events in the most positive light
  • Positivity can make bad news more palatable. People engage better with, and listen more attentively to people with positivity


  • Definition: Having the willpower and discipline to control emotional reactions
  • Communication fails if we let emotional reactions get in the way of our message. People with self-control can communicate despite what they may be feeling


These 30 characteristics help you be a better communicator. They make it easier to communicate in specific situations.

If you’re worried you don’t have these traits, don’t worry. First, it is possible to develop these characteristics. They take time to really become part of us but with effort ad practice you can develop any characteristic you want. Second, these characteristics are not all you need to be a good communicator. You still need to learn communication skills and techniques. Public speaking is easier when you are confident. But confidence by itself doesn’t make you a good public speaker.

Finally, keep in mind that some of these characteristics can work against you. After all, it is difficult to plan a surprise for someone if you are always completely honest.

Read about specific communication skills that will help you at work.