“Communication works for those who work at it”

John Powell

In every sphere of life ranging from personal relationships to highly complex strategic business planning, communication will always be more significant than we will ever know. Whenever we communicate with someone, we have an intended purpose behind it that we seek to fulfill via communication. In simpler words, all kinds of communication written or verbal have specific objectives. We want the recipient to clearly understand our message with no room for any misconceptions or misinterpretations.

Communication skills based on 7Cs of communication

Otherwise, we may have to convey the same message over and over again and the outcome will be negatively affected. In fact, all of us have first-hand experiences of how miscommunication and communication gaps can affect our lives drastically. Quite relatable, isn’t it? Having said that, we need to ensure that we are always communicating in an effective manner to establish utmost understanding or call to action. We need to embrace effective communication both in our personal and professional lives to drive positive outcomes.

The real question is, what does it take to communicate in a decisive and conclusive manner? What are the dimensions of efficient communication? Is there a checklist we need to be looking at while communicating? Yes, there surely is and this checklist is referred to as the 7Cs of communication. This article analyzes each of these 7 components of communication in detail for lucid understanding so that you can enhance your communication skills in an amazing way. So, let us get underway without any further delay.

7 Cs of Communication: All that you need to know

7C’s of successful communication

Listed below are the 7 most crucial traits of effective communication that hold the key to being a charismatic communicator who can lead the way for others. Let’s unwrap the 7Cs of communication one by one.

Clarity

This dimension of communication is self-explanatory to a great extent, isn’t it? When you communicate a message to others whether in writing or verbally, the message must carry maximal clarity. To explain, the recipient must be clearly able to understand what you are trying to convey to them.

Unless there is utmost clarity, the recipient’s understanding will remain overshadowed by confusion. Further, these misunderstandings can lead to strains in personal relationships, ineffective business decisions, delays in planning or taking the right action. Having said that, you need to ensure that your message contains the greatest amount of clarity in terms of purpose, information, and what you expect from the recipient.

Example depicting the importance of clarity in communication: Let’s say the change leaders in an organization want to integrate automation into the operational capabilities of the company. Now, to get stakeholders involved in change management, they will need to clearly communicate the vision to employees. Here, it is important that they clearly explain to employees that automation is meant to boost employee productivity and not to replace employees. If this message is not clearly communicated, it will lead to large disengagement among employees and fears of job loss.

Correctness

The second key trait of effective communication is correctness. As the term implies, the message should be conveyed to the recipient inclusive of the correct details and information. Besides, for optimized correctness, as a communicator, you also need to use the appropriate language while communicating your message. Also, it is such a key thing to communicate the right thing at the right time. Hence, it is also essential to remember that correct communication also ought to be well-timed.

Furthermore, it is also noteworthy that when you communicate correctly, your confidence and motivation get a great boost. You feel more accomplished as a communicator when you have the knack for driving a high degree of correctness in your communications.

Example depicting the importance of correctness in communication: Let’s say a student from China is applying to a Master’s program in the US for which the student needs to submit an SOP to the admission committee of a US university. SOP (Statement of Purpose) is the communication of a student’s personality and exposure to the admissions committee in the form of an essay usually. Now, the information that the student is adding to the SOP with respect to skills, internship experiences, and educational background has to be completely correct. Otherwise, the members of the admission committee would not clearly understand how the students’ skills and experiences are aligned with the course that he or she is applying for. Similarly, for every communication written or verbal, being correct is vital.

Completeness

To be fair, in this highly competitive world, people do not have the time to engage in recurring conversations on the same topic. Thus, you need to ensure that your message contains all the relevant information, details, facts, and figures at once. Needless to say, when messages are communicated in entirety such that they include all the necessary information, they lead to quick decisions, brisk resolution of problems, and positive communication.

On the contrary, communications lacking the prerequisite details will lead to unprecedented delays in actions. So, in your personal as well as professional lives, you should always aim for framing and communicating complete messages with no loopholes.

Example depicting the importance of completeness in communication: Let’s say an analyst at a top MNC is tasked with conducting a PESTLE Analysis for the company to identify key external factors affecting its customer acquisition efforts. A week later, the analyst presents the documented PESTLE analysis to the top management. However, the analysis is not complete as it does not include the industry growth rates, inflation rates, emerging disruptive technologies, and other key details. Hence, the analysis does not offer any decisive insights to the top management as a lot of relevant information is missing.

Concreteness

Communications seem so much more impressive when facts and key details are established firmly with no scope of subjective interpretation. You would any day be more attracted to a communicator who puts forth concrete details rather than the one whose communication has loose ends, isn’t it?

So, the bottom line is that communication ought to be concrete with no room for misunderstandings. Understanding would by default be much greater when facts and figures speak for themselves. Concrete communications appeal more to the recipients and they are impressed by firm arguments. This is something you should surely acknowledge to be a great communicator. The better you align to the 7C’s of communication, the greater the success.

Example depicting the importance of concreteness in communication: Let’s say a management student has to work on a SWOT Analysis assignment. The task of the student is to conduct the SWOT analysis of Hewlett-Packard. Now, to present the analysis in the best possible form, the student should back the findings of the analysis with compelling figures and facts. The student should go through the annual statements of Hewlett-Packard to assess the financial position, the number of employees, and the supplier network of the company. These are the key internal factors that can be looked at as a brand’s strengths. Similarly, to assess the opportunities and threats, the student should look to include key industry trends, customer behavior trends, and statistics to back the arguments. In this way, through the analysis, the student can communicate concrete conclusions to the professor.

Concise

The next important thing about effective communication is that messages need to be straightforward, concise, and to the point. Long conversations have become a luxury in contemporary times when people are running against time. People hence subscribe to precise and concise conversations that highlight only the key details. In fact, you can also look at it from the viewpoint of Pareto’s 80-20 Rule. 20 percent of details in every conversation will ultimately account for more than 80 percent of the impact on the recipient.

When you keep it concise, it becomes easier for the recipient to understand the key details of the message. Also, you need to be considerate of the average attention span that humans have. The attention of recipients will be much higher in straightforward conversations while in long conversations elaborating on unnecessary details, the actual message is likely to be lost.

Example depicting the importance of being concise in communication: When you appear for an interview, recruiters are looking for precise details regarding your core competencies and traits. If you rather start elaborating on skills that are not relevant to the position you are applying for, you are not providing the concise information the recruiters are looking for. It is quite possible that by doing so, you can create disinterest among recruiters and that can even cost you the opportunity.

Consideration

Effective communication is also a lot synonymous with taking the recipients’ perspectives and viewpoints into consideration. The central idea is to make conversation engaging to optimize their impact and to keep the recipients interested. For that, you have to ensure that communication is two-way and you encourage your audience to share their opinions.

Further, when they express their perspectives, you need to show consideration for their mindsets, cultural backgrounds, and preferences. You may or may not agree with them but you can surely be considerate enough.

Example depicting the importance of consideration in communication: Let’s say an employer wants to bring the problem of high client attrition rates to the attention of employees. Rather than just stating the issue and asking the employees to boost efforts, the employer should rather have an inclusive approach and discuss the issue with employees. The employer should consider what employees have to say about the reasons for high client attrition and the possible solutions. In this way, an inclusive conversation can lead to better-informed decisions taking different perspectives into consideration for efficient strategic planning.

Courtesy

The seventh dimension in the 7Cs of communication is that of courtesy. It simply states that communicators need to be courteous toward the feelings and emotions of the recipients that further inspire their viewpoints and thought processes. To add, as a communicator, you should show great respect for your audience and what they opine. When you do so, communications come out to be highly positive and inspire optimism among recipients.

Now you may feel that courtesy can only be expressed in verbal communications as feelings are not really evident in written communications. However, that is not entirely true. Even in written communications, you can rely on the appropriate choice of words and a respectful tone to manifest courtesy.

Example depicting the importance of courtesy in communication: It happens so often that we find ourselves at odds with our parents because of generational differences. What may seem a right choice to us may seem a rather risky decision to them. When we have to convey our choices to them, we need to extend great respect to their feelings and opinions. This is what will encourage them to pay heed to our choices and perspective and offer respect to them in lieu of the respect that we extend. In this way, we can make ourselves better understood to them without offending them or deteriorating the relationship. Makes great sense, isn’t it?

To encapsulate, communication skills are among the most desirable and worthiest interpersonal skills in this era that depends a lot on knowledge and information sharing. If you can excel as an effective communicator, you will always be able to hold on to a competitive advantage over others when it comes to your career. Besides, even in the context of your personal relationships, being a good communicator will also help you in holding on to your loved ones. For such efficacy in communications, all that you need to do is rely on the 7C’s of communication.