Whether you’re a student or a working professional, effective communication is paramount to your success. Gone are the days when only sales and customer support teams had to talk to people. Communication skills are now an essential soft skill every role requires, from sales to operations to back-office support. Here’s where the 7Cs of communication come into the picture.
Many people think of communication as a special ability only a selected few people are born with. The reality, however, is that communication is a skill that you can learn and master, and the 7 Cs framework helps you do that.
Let’s look at the seven components that define effective and actionable communication.
Clear: Bring Clarity
Clarity is the ultimate ingredient in every type of communication, including verbal, written, and visual. What’s the point of sending a message across if the receiver isn’t able to comprehend it? Your message should be clear and easy to understand, so the receiver can act upon it. Clear communication also helps increase employee morale.
7Cs of Communication: How to Make Your Communications Clear?
Follow these tips to add clarity to your messages.
- Limit your message to a single, core idea. If you try to communicate multiple ideas at once, things will get complicated.
- Keep things simple. Avoid using jargon or complex language to explain simple concepts.
- Keep the language barrier in mind. If you’re talking to a person whose first language isn’t the same as yours, consider simplifying your message even further.
Correct: Ensure Correctness
Correctness is another critical element of effective communication. Communication is said to be correct if the message is factually and linguistically correct. Again, this applies mainly to mass communication, such as news articles and industry reports, where you communicate with a large audience. However, it applies to one-to-one and verbal communication, as well.
7Cs of Communication: How to Make Your Communication Correct
The following tips will help you increase the correctness of your messages.
- Check your message for grammatical and other language-related errors. If it’s a written message, you can use tools like Grammarly and ProWritingAid to fix major grammatical errors.
- Ensure factual accuracy. It’s essential to communicate a message only if it’s true and accurate.
- Make sure you include the correct names, dates, and other details that significantly impact your message.
Complete: Make Your Messages Complete
The next important component of the 7Cs of communication is completeness. Your message should have all the information needed to communicate a thought, idea, or message. For example, if you’re giving a message to your boss on behalf of your colleague, you should mention the exact message and the colleague’s name.
7Cs of Communication: Make Your Messages Complete
Here are a few techniques to ensure the completeness of your communication.
- Your message should comprise all the details. Ensure you don’t miss any important aspects of elements of the message.
- Include secondary information like the place, date, and the name of people involved
Concrete: Enhance Concreteness
Concrete communication refers to communicating an idea that is well-researched and backed by credible sources. This concept applies primarily in industry reports, white papers, and news articles where the reporter must present multiple facts. When you don’t back your points with proof, they’re mere opinions.
7Cs of Communication: How to Add Concreteness to Your Communication?
Here’s how you can make your messages more concrete.
- Conduct in-depth research to verify and back any facts or claims you present.
- Present the facts as they are without molding or misinterpreting them.
- Be sure to attach all the resources you refer to, so the receiver can verify all the facts.
Concise: Focus on Conciseness
The next element in the 7Cs of communication is conciseness. In a nutshell, conciseness means to keep things short and to the point. This is especially true for written communication, including emails, and it also applies to mass communication, such as reports and web articles.
7Cs of Communication: How to Make Your Message Concise?
Follow these practices to enhance the conciseness of your communication.
- Look out for any filler words that don’t add meaning to the message. These could be unwanted adjectives, adverbs, or phrases.
- See if you have repeated any sentences or ideas in your message unnecessarily.
- Watch out for similar ideas said in different ways. Overall, conciseness is all about ruthlessly editing your message.
Coherent: Ensure Coherency
Communication is considered coherent when it’s logical and aligned with the receiver’s thought process. For example, if you write a news report on the upcoming football world cup and mention basketball and rugby in it, readers will get confused.
7Cs of Communication: How to Make Your Communication Coherent?
Follow these steps to make your messages coherent.
- Stick to the main topic and avoid secondary ideas.
- Understand your audience well and then develop the message.
- Take consistent feedback to ensure your communication is in line with the receiver.
Courteous: Add Courteousness
The final aspect of effective communication is courteousness, also known as empathy. When you send a message, it should emanate openness, honesty, and friendliness. Therefore, the tone should be positive and caring instead of passive-aggressive or containing insults.
7Cs of Communication: How to Make Your Messages Courteous?
Here’s how you can make your messages courteous.
- Maintain a positive tone, and avoid using negative words and connotations.
- Have empathy for the receiver and think from their perspective.
- Speak/write for the receiver and address their problems.
Variations of 7Cs of Communication
Some books and resources use some variations of the 7C framework. You may also come across the following components:
- Consideration: It refers to stepping into the receiver’s shoes and considering their background, problems, mindset, etc.
- Credibility: Credibility is similar to concreteness. The message you send across should be well-researched and backed by trustworthy sources.
- Creativity: This applies to marketing communication only. Your marketing copy or emails should engage the audience in unique ways.
Communication is the most critical skill you can develop as a student, working professional, or entrepreneur. However, figuring out whether your communication is effective can be challenging. Here’s where the 7Cs of communication come into the picture. This framework helps you analyze your messages across seven factors, so you can communicate the right way.