Top ten lists of anything are almost impossible to pass up without taking a peek. But, it's the kind of information that sits in your mind a minute, then gets up and takes a walk. One of the most ubiquitous top tenners is the list for good communication with "Listen" at the the top. Makes sense, everyone gets the rule but good listeners are as rare as belly dancers in Alaska. Mostly, people press their lips tight and wait for their chance to speak. That's not listening; it's attempting to appear polite. Other favorites on the list are the business about a message needing a sender and a receiver, awareness of body language, the misuse of qualifiers and seven others that slip my mind.
Rules help some but what one really needs is a sense of how to treat people. Most of the bad communications I've witnessed share a common problem. One or both of the speakers tries to diminish the other. If the other person is less, you're more. If the other person is made small, you're bigger. Doesn't matter the content of the conversation or whether it's a disagreement or a chat, diminishing tactics are often at play.
How about the guy who has to add-on to whatever you say, can never let your statement stand on its own. Or the friend or relative who is always teaching and informing. And the miserly one who listens but gives no response. And, my least favorite, the gentle, patient and superior one who tolerates others.
For some people, diminishing tactics are consistently present in relationships. But don't forget the other side of the equation. The diminished one feels resentment and resentment is the rust of relationships. So, my number one communication rule is Don't Diminish The Other Guy. Without this, the other nine rules don't mean much.