In order to have good communications skills you need to know how to communicate clearly, concisely and effectively.
A large portion of every day of our lives will be spend communicating. We write letters, send emails, talk, Instant Message and so on. What better way, then, to improve our productivity and save time than by increasing the effectiveness of our communication.
In order to boost of business productivity and to communicate effectively we’ll be looking at the 7 Cs of communication.
How to Communicate Clearly, Concisely and Effectlvely: The 7 Cs
The 7 Cs of communication are
How to communicate CLEARLY
Clear is the first of our seven Cs. To matter what kind of message we are sending we want to be clear. There are two sides to clarity. The first is the clarity of the actual message, the second the clarity of the message’s transmission. To make the message itself clear you need to eliminate unnecessary information . Here’s an example,
I was just thinking about the baseball game tonight. You wanna grab a beer and watch it at the pub? Oh, by the way, I need you to send that let over too.
Just a reminder that I will need that letter by 4pm today.
Obviously, the second example is a lot clearer.
How to communicate CONCISELY
Next let’s take a look at how to communicate concisely. In many ways this is the same basic process as the one above. To communicate concisely you need to eliminate surplus details from your message. You also need to remove unnecessary individual words. Here’s an example
So, yeah, I as wondering about that email you sent with regards to the marketing campaign. You know, the one you sent last Tuesday. I think perhaps our market might want to get more of a sense of our companies philosophy.. .
Regarding the marketing campaign email sent last Tuesday, consider showing more of our company’s philosophy in the campaign. . .
Clearly, the second example is much more concise. In the second example the message sender has taken his time to decide precisely what he wants to say. He has then structured his thoughts into clear and concise sentences. Because of this, the second email is almost half the length of the first.
How to communicate CONCRETELY
Communicating concretely means giving a definite and unambiguous message. You want your audience to be 100% certain of what you are telling them. To achieve this you use details (though not too many) and focus. Let’s take a look at some examples of communicating concretely.
Your luggage is safe in a Travelox suitcase!
This sentence isn’t going to sell many suitcases because it doesn’t really tell the audience anything. WHY will their luggage be safe in a Travelox suitcase? Why isn’t it safe already?
Here’s a good example:
17% of passengers on international flights report damaged luggage after landing. If you need your luggage to arrive scratch-free, use a Travelox suitcase. Travelox has specially cushioned sides to securely hold your luggage wherever you travel.
As you can see, this second marketing message is a heck of a lot more powerful. It tells the person what the problem is and how the product solves that problem. There’s a much better chance of selling a suitcase with the second message than with the first!
How to communicate CORRECTLY
Whenever you communicate (and particularly in business) you need to make sure you are communicating correctly. This doesn’t just regard pronunciation, spelling and grammar but matters unique to the individual message itself. For instance, if you are using technical terminology, facts, statistics or names, you need to make sure you get them right.
Here’s a bad example;
It was a pleasore to meet you today. I am looking forward to discussing our project in future. . .
(this contains two errors: the colon after “Hi Jane” and the misspelt “Pleasore”. It’s also poorly written). You need to avoid any minor mistakes when communicating in a business environment.
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How to communicate COHERENTLY
Coherent communication means sticking to the point, making sure your message is logical and getting the flow and the tone of the communication correct.
BAD EXAMPLE :
I ‘m just making a quick note about the project report you did the other day. I thought John might as well proof it so I figured we’d get together to discuss it sometime.
Clearly the person writing this message doesn’t care.
Regarding the report you submitted last week. I had John proof read it and he has suggested a few improvements. I think the three of us should set an appointment for next week to discuss it.
This message sticks to the point and is coherent. It sounds professional and delivers all points in a clear and understandable fashion.
How to communicate COMPLETELY
Communicating completely means giving the recipient all the details they need. This may include facts, statistics, a “call to action” and more.
Just a remind about tomorrows meeting.
Someone reading his message may quite easily think “What meet? When? What’s it about? Who is this message to?”
John, Tony, Traci, Matt;
I’m just sending a reminder about the meeting at 3am in the boardroom tomorrow to discuss the financial report.
This message is still short and to the point but it tells everybody everything they need to know.
How to communicate COURTEOUSLY
Courteous communication means being polite, giving consideration to the needs of the recipient, giving all the details they need and looking at things from the other person’s point of view.
Your report last week wasn’t good. I need to discuss it with you. I’m setting a meeting for tomorrow at 4 pm.
Poor John is going to think “Oh no, what did I do wrong? What needs to be discussed? Am I even free at 4pm tomorrow?”
I would like to discuss the report you submitted last week. I have a few suggestions I would like to discuss. How does 4pm tomorrow sound?
In this message John is left feeling positive. He hasn’t been told his report was bad, only that it might be improved, and he’s given the opportunity to change the time of the meeting if needs be.
With courteous communication the recipient will feel that they are being treated fairly and that they are on good ground with the sender of the message.
Using the seven C is the key to understanding how to communicate clearly, concisely and effectively Make sure you are following the 7 Cs in all important communications.