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, 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- Coherent. Sentences should flow harmoniously and most importantly, be on topic. Avoid mentioning distracting topics that could easily be addressed in subsequent communication.
- 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.
- 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.