11/22/2016 04:26 EST | Updated 11/22/2016 04:26 EST

The Secret To Great Communication Is Simple

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Couple relaxing together at home

So you have waited all day to tell your mate something you are excited about and, just as you get to the important part, he tunes out and looks at his cellphone and begins to reply to a text.

Or how about the girlfriend who constantly interrupts you during your telephone conversations and it seems you can never complete your thoughts.

Sound familiar?

In these moments, we may not feel heard -- or even cared about. While it surely happens to all of us at some point, we are all guilty of doing it.

It is no secret that good communication is key to good relationships. Whether the relationship is personal or professional, communicating with people you care about is an art, kind of like dancing the Tango. Good communication takes practice and effort, but once you know the secret to great communication, you can have better, deeper and more meaningful connections.

When we have too much "noise" or conflict in a relationship, that most likely means communication breakdown, or at least a strain or tension. Contrary to the old adage, communication may not be everything in a relationship, and a relationship may need more than just a communication fix. Though when people feel heard and cared about, they respond accordingly.

The secret to great communication is simple -- so simple it is easy to overlook.

What is the secret?

Get clear on what is most important to the person in the relationship and link it to what is most important to you. This is called "linking of values."

When you link your values, you now have common ground and something that is important to both of you.

For example, let's say you have to go on yet another business trip but your spouse wants you home because she says you don't spend enough time together, since you are both busy with your respective businesses. She is upset at you because she is now feeling you don't care much about the relationship -- or her -- and that your business is more important to you.

Looking at this closely, she has a high value in her relationship with you. While you, too, value the relationship, otherwise you wouldn't be in it, your highest priority at this moment is securing that big business deal you are going to be doing on this upcoming trip, so you can invest in your business.

So help her understand how your trip will enable the two of you to spend more quality time together upon your return, since that is most important to her, and how you both will get what you would love and deserve by you taking this trip. For instance, perhaps it will enable you to buy a new house, or take a romantic vacation together.

Once we learn how to do this dance, our communication gets clearer and our relationships will get stronger.

What is your secret to great communication? I'd love to hear from you. Tweet to me at @Shannon_Skinner or leave a comment below.

Shannon Skinner is an award-winning producer/host of, radio host, inspirational speaker and author, based in Toronto. For information on her speaking engagements, visit: Tweet to her at @Shannon_Skinner.

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