7 Cs Of Communication

The 7Cs of communication is a set of guiding principles on effective communication skills in business, moving around seven principles for effective business communication: clear, concise, concrete, correct, complete, coherent, and courteous.  

Understanding the 7 Cs of communication

Effective communication in business occurs when one party receives a message in a way that it was intended to be heard. But with corporate employees spending up to 30% of work time responding to email alone, communication must be also productive, efficient, and engaging.

To that end, the 7Cs of communication were developed to improve both written and oral communication.

Following is a look at each principle.

  1. Clear. Communication must be clear in the sense that the recipient does not have to seek further clarification on what was said. Here, it’s best to keep things simple. Avoid complex words and do not assume that the recipient has every detail of the story in front of them.
  2. Concise. Brevity is important because it saves time. Avoid using five sentences to communicate something that could be explained in two. Ultimately, conciseness is a balancing act. Employees must get their point across quickly without omitting important details.
  3. Concrete. Concrete communication is specific and logical. Facts must support each other and the premise of the communication itself. Where appropriate, facts in the form of data should also support arguments.
  4. Correct. Ensure that all communication is free of typing and spelling errors. Avoid over-reliance on spell checking tools because they do not catch subtle variations in grammar or word usage. If using technical terms, ensure that the recipient has an adequate grasp of the subject matter.
  5. Complete. Does communication have the required information for the recipient to take action? Indeed, is there a call to action included in the closing remarks?
  6. Coherent. Sentences should flow harmoniously and most importantly, be on topic. Avoid mentioning distracting topics that could easily be addressed in subsequent communication.
  7. Courteous. Manners and politeness go a long way, particularly in high-stress environments common to many businesses. Avoid coming across as demanding or brusque. Instead, opt to communicate with a friendly, professional, respectful, and considerate tone.

Extensions to the 7 Cs of communication

While the original framework is more than sufficient for effective communication, some extensions do exist.

The first is credibility. In other words, does the communication enhance or showcase the credibility of the communicator? This is particularly important for businesses giving presentations or in other scenarios where a business is less acquainted with an interested party.

The second extension is creativity. Creative communication increases engagement and again, can enhance the credibility of a business presenting to an audience.

Key takeaways:

  • The 7 Cs of communication provide a framework for effective and efficient business communication.
  • The 7 Cs of communication detail 7 guiding principles. Is the communication clear, concise, concrete, complete, correct, coherent, and courteous?
  • The 7 Cs of communication provide many benefits for individuals and businesses alike. Proper communication boosts credibility and engagement which builds solid relationships. 

Read Next: Lasswell Communication Model, Linear Model Of Communication.

Connected Communication Models

Aristotle’s Model of Communication

The Aristotle model of communication is a linear model with a focus on public speaking. The Aristotle model of communication was developed by Greek philosopher and orator Aristotle, who proposed the linear model to demonstrate the importance of the speaker and their audience during communication. 

Communication Cycle

The linear model of communication is a relatively simplistic model envisaging a process in which a sender encodes and transmits a message that is received and decoded by a recipient. The linear model of communication suggests communication moves in one direction only. The sender transmits a message to the receiver, but the receiver does not transmit a response or provide feedback to the sender.

Berlo’s SMCR Model

Berlo’s SMCR model was created by American communication theorist David Berlo in 1960, who expanded the Shannon-Weaver model of communication into clear and distinct parts. Berlo’s SMCR model is a one-way or linear communication framework based on the Shannon-Weaver communication model.

Helical Model of Communication

The helical model of communication is a framework inspired by the three-dimensional spring-like curve of a helix. It argues communication is cyclical, continuous, non-repetitive, accumulative, and influenced by time and experience.

Lasswell Communication Model

The Lasswell communication model is a linear framework for explaining the communication process through segmentation. Lasswell proposed media propaganda performs three social functions: surveillance, correlation, and transmission. Lasswell believed the media could impact what viewers believed about the information presented.

Modus Tollens

Modus tollens is a deductive argument form and a rule of inference used to make conclusions of arguments and sets of arguments.  Modus tollens argues that if P is true then Q is also true. However, P is false. Therefore Q is also false. Modus tollens as an inference rule dates back to late antiquity where it was taught as part of Aristotelian logic. The first person to describe the rule in detail was Theophrastus, successor to Aristotle in the Peripatetic school.

Five Cannons of Rhetoric

The five canons of rhetoric were first organized by Roman philosopher Cicero in his treatise De Inventione in around 84 BC. Some 150 years later, Roman rhetorician Quintilian explored each of the five canons in more depth as part of his 12-volume textbook entitled Institutio Oratoria. The work helped the five canons become a major component of rhetorical education well into the medieval period. The five canons of rhetoric comprise a system for understanding powerful and effective communication.

Communication Strategy

A communication strategy framework clarifies how businesses should communicate with their employees, investors, customers, and suppliers. Some of the key elements of an effective communication strategy move around purpose, background, objectives, target audience, messaging, and approach.

Noise if Communication

Noise is any factor that interferes with or impedes effective communication between a sender and receiver. When noise disrupts the communication process or prevents the transmission of information, it is said to be communication noise.

7 Cs of Communication

The 7Cs of communication is a set of guiding principles on effective communication skills in business, moving around seven principles for effective business communication: clear, concise, concrete, correct, complete, coherent, and courteous.

Transactional Model of Communication

The transactional model of communication describes communication as a two-way, interactive process within social, relational, and cultural contexts. The transactional model of communication is best exemplified by two models. Barnlund’s model describes communication as a complex, multi-layered process where the feedback from the sender becomes the message for the receiver. Dance’s helical model is another example, which suggests communication is continuous, dynamic, evolutionary, and non-linear.

Digital Approaches to Communication

E-business Model

E-business models utilize advanced communication technologies and digital information to streamline various business processes online. These processes include customer relationship management (CRM), supply chain management, payment processing, employee services and recruitment, and information sharing.

Strategy Map

Strategy maps are single-page, visual representations of organizational strategy. Their simplicity makes them ideal for communicating big-picture objectives to every employee in an organization – regardless of seniority or project involvement level. A strategy map is a visual representation of organizational objectives and how they relate to one another.

Integrated Marketing

Integrated marketing communication (IMC) is an approach used by businesses to coordinate and brand their communication strategies. Integrated marketing communication takes separate marketing functions and combines them into one, interconnected approach with a core brand message that is consistent across various channels. These encompass owned, earned, and paid media. Integrated marketing communication has been used to great effect by companies such as Snapchat, Snickers, and Domino’s.

Story Mapping

Story mapping is a simple holistic approach to using stories in agile development without losing sight of the big picture. Story mapping was first introduced by Jeff Patton in 2005 and is based on the concept of user stories, or stories that communicate product requirements from the perspective of user value.

Effective Communication

An effective communication strategy starts with a clear brand identity, by defining clear boundaries and compromises your brand will not take in the marketplace. Based on that, understanding, whether context, formats, and scale are in line with your business message to prevent a loss of identity.

Marketing Strategies

Marketing strategies are based on a set of channels that can be used to amplify your brand and your product. So that you can connect it with the right audience. You can amplify the product to further scale the business. And you can build a strong business model around your brand

Real-Time Marketing

Real-time marketing is as exactly as it sounds. It involves in-the-moment marketing to customers across any channel based on how that customer is interacting with the brand.

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