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Business Studies

The 7 C’s of Communication

Communication is important for business success and has become a critical element of the modern business environment. In order to communicate effectively one’s message or information has to be complete, concrete, correct, courteous, clear, considerate and concise.  These are the 7 C’s of effective communication and they represent a requirement that a message should meet in order to be effective.

What is Communication

Communication can be regarded as the process of transmitting information and meaning. The general objectives being, to facilitate cooperation within groups such as suppliers, clients and investors as well as managing business operations. All the activities in an organisation rely on communication, once communication becomes ineffective the operations fall apart. Therefore, 7 C’s of communication are critical in the day to day operations within the internal and external environment of an organisation. Applying the 7 C’s of communication ensures that a message will be in sync with the receiver’s understanding as described as follows;

Clarity

Plain language should be used along with short sentences and concrete words. Clarity is best achieved through simple and fluent sentences and paragraphs. The person communicating should keep to the point and the message should be conveyed in an easy to understand manner. It is advisable to always make use of short and simple sentences when speaking and writing.  Briefly worded information emphasise the essence of the message. Also, the speaker should be specific in conveying the message so that the audience is not left to guessing. Sometimes in business, there are only few opportunities to convey a message or information. If the information is misunderstood there may not be another chance to correct the message. This may cause problems for the stakeholders. Thus, it is essential to be as clear as possible when communicating especially in a business environment. Clarity is interconnected with the principle of completeness and concreteness.

Concreteness

In addition to the above concreteness is another principle of the 7 C’s of communication. A concrete message is like a factsheet put to words. In business communication the message must be accompanied with factual material such as data and figures. A message should be solid and specific. The words that are used should be interpreted univocally. That is, vague words or words with multiple meanings should be minimised or not used at all. Concrete information diminishes the need to guess the meaning of a message or any possible misinterpretations. Concreteness complements clarity, conciseness and consideration.

Completeness

Completeness is one of the 7 C’s of communication in that a message must be complete, based on facts and if complicated more information must be added. A complete message should have clear and detailed relevant information for the audience to understand. Therefore, it is important to plan any communication carefully in order to convey all the necessary information to an audience at any given time. Leaving out important information will confuse the listener and may cause problems that may be difficult to repair.  Also, communication that is complete strengthens relations and creates harmony among business owners, managers and employees. The principles of clarity and courtesy are interconnected with completeness.

Consideration

In order to communicate effectively a person needs to relate to the audience. One should keep the views of the audience in mind when conveying a message. The level of knowledge, education and interests of the target group should be considered. For example, when speaking to business associates and customers the conversation should be open to questions and clarifications. Answers to any questions should be clear and understandable when communicating.

Conciseness

Conciseness is another important principle of the 7 C’s of communication. A concise message is one that is straight to the point, clear and with a consistent theme. In order to do this, a message should be formed with few words. All facts and any supporting information that can be mentioned should be consistent with the message. Contradicting statements confuse the listeners. Wordiness and repetition should be avoided and filler words that do not have real meaning should not be used, such as “a lot of sense” or “sort of”. Unnecessary sentences should be avoided at all times. Information that is concise is more appealing and comprehensible. Plus, being concise saves time and adds value to a message. Conciseness, complements  concreteness and consideration.

Correctness

The 7 C’s of communication also include correctness because a correct use of language increases trustworthiness. This implies factual and linguistic accuracy. In business communication there should not be grammatical errors or wrong use of verbs. Apart from using the correct grammar, the message should contain viable facts. The information that is conveyed needs to be backed by reliable and credible sources that can be verified. Correctness and consideration work hand in hand.

Courtesy

When one is communicating, the points of view and feelings of the target group should be considered. Being courteous is an essential part of communication. It is important to respect the audience or listener when you communicate, and all feedback should be given in a constructive manner. Terms that show respect towards one’s audiences will make communication more effective. Also, a courteous message is written from the viewpoint of the audience. It requires some thinking of what the audience knows and doesn’t know and forming the message accordingly. The principle of courtesy and completeness work hand in hand.

In addition to the 7 C’s of communication, creativity and credibility aid in communication. Creativity can help people stay engaged whilst credibility is added to a message if it is supported by true facts and figures. Also, being confident whilst conveying your message helps add credibility to the information. It is crucial to check the data and facts before presenting any information. This way an atmosphere of trust can be created. Any good ideas accompanied by incorrect information will not be useful. In addition, it is also advisable to present information in a conversational manner. The tone should invite interaction and not incite arguments. Effective communication means presenting information in a manner that is professional and not emotional.

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