7 “Cs” That Define Effective Communication — Are You Following Them?

Communication exists as an essential part of every part of human life. Whether you know it or not, like it or not, you are communicating, almost ALL THE TIME. When we say “communication”, we often mean “talking” or “speaking” or even “orating”, but communication is so much more than that. In fact, most of human communication is non-verbal, contrary to popular belief!

That being said, we let verbal and written communication influence a lot of how we come across as communicators, and hence it is of utmost importance to have strong and effective verbal and written communication skills. The most basic way to hone your communication skills is to pay attention to the ground rule of communication, better known as the 7 Cs of Communication. Keeping these 7 Cs in mind will help you become better communicators, whether you’re having a conversation with a friend, speaking to an audience, or writing an article!

1. CLEAR

Being clear is probably the first and greatest rule of communication. Clarity in thought, speech, writing; no matter what, is ranked among the greatest traits of effective communicators. Always ask yourself the question, “What is the purpose of this communication?”. This helps bring clarity to any message you want to deliver.

If people have to read between the lines or figure out stuff on their own, then your communication is failing. Use simple language, be objective, avoid jargon, and stick to delivering the message.

2. CONCISE

Keep it short!

Stick to the point and be as brief as possible, so your audience understands your communication more effectively. Don't repeat your messages, and where you can use five words, don’t use ten. The shorter your message the easier it is to hold your audience’s attention

3. CORRECT

Your communication has no value if it is not accurate. Error-free communication is the only way to build your credibility with your audience. Check facts, terms, spellings, pronunciations, and grammar, and ensure your communication is well-timed and exact. This helps improve the effectiveness of the message you are trying to get across.

4. CONCRETE

Always ensure that your message is solid and focused. Be specific, make sure the message is logical, and all parts of it add up. If you are sharing any arguments, make sure they are backed up by irrefutable facts, data, and solid examples that will ensure your entire communication is concrete. When your communication is concrete, there is no room for misinterpretation.

5. COHERENT

Coherence is all about having a consistent, logical flow and structure to your message. Presenting your message in a haphazard manner will only leave your audience confused! Ensure your style, tone and language are all consistent, and the message across the communication is consistent in itself!

6. COMPLETE

No matter the style and mode of communication, your communication must be COMPLETE — i.e. it must contain all the relevant information for your audience. An incomplete communication is a pointless exercise! FOr example, if you are raising money for a cause, apart from telling people about the cause, why it is important, how their donations will help, and encouraging them to donate, you also need to include the “call to action” — in this case, how and where to donate; a contact number, maybe even a website or an instagram page where they can find more information!

Having complete communication allows the loop to be closed and for the communication to take maximum effect!

7. COURTEOUS

If you can’t be polite, then don’t communicate at all! Good communication is friendly, open and honest. You can never be an effective communicator if your communication is aggressive, rude or unpleasant. Be respectful of your audience and communicate with them in a courteous manner by showing empathy and creating your messages from the point of view of your audience.

Do you practice these 7 “Cs” of Communication? While excellent communication isn’t limited to these guidelines, these 7 Cs are a great place to start! Apply these in your every day written and oral communication and see the difference it makes to your communication skills. Change starts with the every day!

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