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This article explains practically the 7 C’s of Effective Communication. After reading you will understand the basics of this powerful communication skills tool.
7 C’s of Effective Communication
We communicate all day long; at home, at work, with our next-door neighbour and at the sports club. We communicate verbally, non-verbally and in writing. Unfortunately, the message does not always come across as intended. NOISE! This can lead to miscommunication and (small) misunderstanding or the wrong impression.
The 7 C’s of effective communication, also known as the seven principles of communication are a useful way to ensure good and business communication. The 7 C’s of Effective Communication provide a useful check list as a result of which both written and verbal communication pass off in a clear, plain, target group-oriented and well-structured manner.
The message must be complete and geared to the receiver’s perception of the world. The message must be based on facts and a complex message needs additional information and/ or explanation. A good subdivision of subjects will clarify the message as a result of which there will be a complete overview of what is said.
Concrete business communication is also about a clear message. This is often supported by factual material such as research data and figures. The words used as well as the sentence structure can be interpreted uni-vocally. Nothing is left to the imagination.
In addition to considering the feelings and points of view of the target group, it is also important to approach the audience in a friendly and courteous manner. Use of terms that show respect for the receiver contribute towards effective communication. The same goes for the manner in which you address someone. Not everyone will be charmed if you use a familiar form of address and use of a formal address could come across as too distant. By using the word ‘they’ a larger audience is immediately addressed.
A correct use of language has the preference. In written business communication, grammatical errors must be avoided and stylistic lapses or a wrong use of verbs are not sufficient either in verbal communication. A correct use of language increases trustworthiness and the receiver will feel that they are taken seriously.
Clear or plain language is characterized by explicitness, short sentences and concrete words. Fuzzy language is absolutely forbidden, as are formal language and cliché expressions. By avoiding parentheses and keeping to the point, the receiver will get a clear picture of the content of the message. Briefly-worded information emphasizes the essence of the message.
Communicating with the target group (Consideration). In order to communicate well, it is important to relate to the target group and be involved. By taking the audience into account, the message can be geared towards them. Factors that play a role in this are for example: professional knowledge, level of education, age and interests.
A message is clear when the storyline is consistent and when this does not contain any inconsistencies. When facts are mentioned, it is important that there is consistent, supporting information. Systematically implementing a certain statement or notation also contributes to clear business communication. When statements are varied, they will confuse the receiver.
Variations throughout the years
The 7 C’s of Effective Communication have two more variations that are often overlooked, namely Creativity and Credibility.
A text will only be lively when the words and sentence structures are used creatively and when short sentences are alternated with longer sentences. Creativity is especially important in texts in which search words are used, it is essential that the search words are constantly used in a different setting.
By creating an atmosphere of trust in a conversation or text, you add credibility to the message. This can be achieved by a clear and striking ‘tone’, which indicates that the information you are discussing contains the right information.
It’s Your Turn
What do you think? Are the 7 C’s of Effective Communication applicable for you in today’s modern economy? Do you recognize the practical explanation above or do you have more suggestions? What are your success factors for using the 7 C’s of Effective Communication?
Share your experience and knowledge in the comments box below.
- Aggarwal, Vir Bala and V. S. Gupta (2001). Handbook of Journalism and Mass Communication. Concept Publishing Company
- Murphy, H.A. et al., (2000). Effective Business Communication. McGraw-Hill.
- Scott M. Cutlip, Allen H. Center (1952). Effective public relations: pathways to public favor. Prentice-Hall.
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