Seven C’s of effective business communication

The message is said to be effective when the receiver understands the same meaning that the sender was intended to convey. For any communication in business, in order to be effective, it must have seven qualities. These seven attributes are called seven C’s of effective business communication.

Seven C’s of Effective Business Communication
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Correctness Clarity Conciseness Completeness Consideration Concreteness Courtesy

1. CORRECTNESS : To be correct in communication Use correct level of language Include only accurate facts, words and figures . Maintain acceptable writing machines At the time of encoding, if the encoder has comprehensive knowledge about the decoder of message, it makes the communication an ease. The encoder should know the status, knowledge and educational background of the decoder. Correctness means:
• • • •

Use the right level of language Correct use of grammar, spelling and punctuation Accuracy in stating facts and figures Maintain acceptable writing machines

Correctness in message helps in building confidence.

2. CONCISENESS: A concise message saves time of both the sender and the receiver. Conciseness, in a business message, can be achieved by avoiding wordy expressions and repetition. Using brief and to the point sentences, including relevant material makes the message concise. Achieving conciseness does not mean to loose completeness of message. Conciseness saves time.

It makes the message more understandable and comprehensible . To achieve it Avoid unnecessary repetition and wordy expressions. Include only relevant facts with courtesy . Organize the message logically and efficiently. 3. CLARITY: Clarity demands the use of simple language and easy sentence structure in composing the message. When there is clarity in presenting ideas, it’s easy for the receiver/decoder to grasp the meaning being conveyed by the sender/encoder. Clarity makes comprehension easier.

It demands that the message should be correct, concise, complete, concrete and with consideration . To accomplish these : Choose precise, short and familiar words. Proper punctuations make the writing clear. Make the message readable and understandable. Make correct sentences, and derived the message in properly sized paragraphs

4.COMPLETENESS: By completeness means the message must bear all the necessary information to bring the response you desire. The sender should answer all the questions and with facts and figures. and when desirable, go for extra details. Completeness brings the desired response.

The message should be complete, we should be able to know the reader’s background, viewpoints, needs, attitudes and emotions.

The guidelines for completeness, The message should answer all the questions in the order ,they were asked . Give some additional information if important.

5.CONCRETENESS : Being definite, vivid and specific rather than vague, obscure and general leads to concreteness of the message. Facts and figures being presented in the message should be specif. Concreteness reinforces confidence.

The business writing should be specific , definite and vivid . The guidelines use to concreteness Use specific facts and figures . Avoid words like few, quick, soon etc. Use action verbs. The message should have building words.

6.CONSIDERATION : Consideration demands to put oneself in the place of receiver while composing a message. It refers to the use of You attitude, emphases positive pleasant facts, visualizing reader’s problems, desires, emotions and his response. Consideration means understanding of human nature.

Consideration refers to attitude, the human touch, and understanding of human nature . It can be achieved through Emphasize you instead of “I” or “we” Your message should convey truth .

Stress the positive, pleasant aspects of facts. Offer a services of value to the reader . 7. COURTESY : In business, almost everything starts and ends in courtesy. Courtesy means not only thinking about receiver but also valuing his feelings. Much can be achieved by using polite words and gestures, being appreciative, thoughtful, tactful, and showing respect to the receiver. Courtesy builds goodwill. Courtesy strengthen relations.

Courtesy is more important and advantageous in business writing then in face to face communication . It is achieved; Be truly tactful, thoughtful and appreciative . Omit expression that annoy . Answer all your mail Grant and apologize candidly.

The seven C’s Effective Communication
After planning steps in communicating the message have been complete we have to consider specific writing principles to help us choose right words syntax and sentences for our letter report memonorandums etc. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Correctness Conciseness Clarity Completeness Concreteness Consideration Courtesy

Correctness:To be correct in communication the following principles should be borne in mind. 1. Use the correct level of language 2. Include only facts words and figures 3. Maintain acceptable writing mechanics

4. Apply the following qualities 5. There should be proper grammar punctuation spelling and paragraphing


Business exectives are dead-busy. They don’t have time to go through unnecessarily lengthy messages. The writer is also a loser if he writes wordy messages because it involves more time and money to type and read. Conciseness makes the message more understandable and comprehensible
1. Eliminate wordy Expressions. 2. Include only relevant material. 3. Avoided unnecessary Repetition.

Clarity:Clarity demands that the business message should be correct concise complete concrete and with consideration 1. Use the right level of language 2. Proper punctuation make the writing clear 3. Check Accurey of fact figure & Words

Completeness:The message should be complete to bring desirable results. It should include everything the reader needs for the reaction you desire. You must know what information our reader wants or needs You should be able to know the reader’s background viewpoint needs attitudes and emotions. 1. Provide all necessary information. 2. Answer all questions asked. 3. Give something Extra, when Desirable.


The business writing should be specific definite unambiguous and vivid rather than vague and general The following guidelines lead to concreteness.
1. Use specific facts and figures 2. Put action in your verb 3. Choose vivid image building words.

Consideration:Consideration refers to you attitude sympathy the human touch and understanding of human nature. Consideration means the message with the receiver in mind. You should try to visualize

your readers their desires problems emotions circumstances and possible reaction to your request. 1. Focus on you instead I & We 2. Show reader benefit or interest in reader 3. Emphasize

Courtesy:Courtesy is more important and advantageous in business writing than it is in face to face communication or conversation. Courteous message strengthen present relations and make new friends. It is a goodwill building. 1. Answer your mail promptly 2. Be sincerely tactful thoughtful and appreciative 3. Use expressions that show respect

Components of Communication
communication is a process of transmitting and receiving messages (verbal and nonverbal). Communication is a dialogue not a monologue. So, a communication is said to be effective only if it brings the desired response from the receiver. Communication consists of six components or elements.

Components of Communication
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Context Sender/Encoder Message Medium Receiver/Decoder Feedback

Every message (Oral or written), begins with context. Context is a very broad field that consists different aspects. One aspect is country, culture and organization. Every organization, culture and country communicate information in their own way. Another aspect of context is external stimulus. The sources of external stimulus includes; meeting, letter, memo, telephone call, fax, note, email and even a casual conversation. This external stimuli motivates you to respond and this response may be oral or written.

Internal stimuli is another aspect of communication. Internal Stimuli includes; You opinion, attitude, likes, dis-likes, emotions, experience, education and confidence. These all have multifaceted influence on the way you communicate you ideas. A sender can communicate his ideas effectively by considering all aspects of context mentioned above.

Encoder is the person who sends message. In oral communication the encoder is speaker, and in written communication writer is the encoder. An encoder uses combination of symbols, words, graphs and pictures understandable by the receiver, to best convey his message in order to achieve his desired response.

Message is the information that is exchanged between sender and receiver. The first task is to decide what you want to communicate and what would be the content of your message; what are the main points of your message and what other information to include. The central idea of the message must be clear. While writing the message, encoder should keep in mind all aspects of context and the receiver (How he will interpret the message). Messages can be intentional and unintentional.

Medium is the channel through which encoder will communicate his message. How the message gets there. Your medium to send a message, may be print, electronic, or sound. Medium may be a person as postman. The choice of medium totally depends on the nature of you message and contextual factors discussed above. Choice of medium is also influence by the relationship between the sender and receiver. The oral medium, to convey your message, is effective when your message is urgent, personal or when immediate feedback is desired. While, when your message is ling, technical and needs to be documented, then written medium should be preferred that is formal in nature. These guidelines may change while communicating internationally where complex situations are dealt orally and communicated in writing later on.

The person to whom the message is being sent is called ‘receiver’/'decoder’. Receiver may be a listener or a reader depending on the choice of medium by sender to transmit the message. Receiver is also influenced by the context, internal and external stimuli. Receiver is the person who interprets the message, so higher the chances are of miscommunication because of receivers perception, opinion, attitude and personality. There will be minor deviation in transmitting the exact idea only if your receiver is educated and have communication skills.

Response or reaction of the receiver, to a message, is called ‘feedback’. Feedback may be written or oral message, an action or simply, silence may also be a feedback to a message. Feedback is the most important component of communication in business. Communication is said to be effective only when it receives some feedback. Feedback, actually, completes the loop of communication.

Components of communication


Every message, whether oral or written, begins with context. Context is a broad field that includes country, culture, organization and external and internal stimuli. Every country, every culture and every company or organization has its own conventions for processing and communicating information.


Sender is the person who communicates the idea, information, material, etc. He acts in the capacity of speaker, writer, or encoder. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. The message he intends to send The message he actually sends The message the other person receives or understands. The other person interpretation of the message The other person response.


The message may be in the form of order, opinion, advice, suggestion, instruction, question answer or material. It is necessary and important that idea or message received be identical to the idea or message sent. It is possible only when both communicators sender and receiver are skillful in communication and its language.

Medium of communication includes letters report telegrams fax mailgrams cables telefax postals telephones charts pictures or any other mechanical device. Medium may be a person as a postman. It may be a device as a telephone. It may also be an organization as a post office or news agency.


The receiver is the decoder. He when receives decodes or interprets the message. Since perfect communication is not possible, there is deviation between the idea sent and the idea received or interpreted. If the receiver is skillful in communication then the deviation will be small.


Feedback can be an oral or a written message, an action or simply silence.

Business Communication and its Types
Communication :“Any act by which one person gives to or receives from another person information about that person’s needs, desires, perceptions, knowledge, or affective states. Communication may be intentional or unintentional, it may involve conventional or unconventional signals, may take linguistic or non-linguistic forms, and may occur through spoken or other modes.” Or in simple words; Communication is the exchange of ideas, opinions and information through written or spoken words, symbols or actions. Communication is a dialogue, not a monologue. In fact, communication is more concerned with a dual listening process. For communication to be effective, the message must mean the same thing to both the sender and the receiver.

Business Communication
Business Communication is any communication used to promote a product, service, or organization – with the objective of making sale. In business communication, message is conveyed through various channels of communication including internet, print (publications), radio, television, outdoor, and word of mouth. In business, communication is considered core among business, interpersonal skills and etiquette.

Historical Background Thousands years ago, people use to communicate orally. Greeks use a phonetic alphabet written from left to right. After that, many books appeared on written communication principles. In a result of this, Greek started her very first library. When communism was ruling China, communication had become the biggest challenge within the vast government as well as between government and people. 1st in China and then in Rome postal service was launched. After that paper and printing press was invented in china that made communication easier. Hence, today’s principles of communications are founded on a mixture of ancient oral and written traditions.

Organization The arrangements between individuals and groups in human society that structure relationships and activities (Business, Political, Religious or social). In other words, A group of people identified by shared interests or purpose, for example, a “Bank”. Lifeblood of an Organization Communication is the lifeblood of an organization. If we could somehow remove communication flows from an organization, we would not have an organization. It is needed for:
• • • • • • •

Exchanging information Exchanging options Making plans and proposals Reaching agreement Executing decisions Sending and fulfilling orders Conducting sales

When communication stops, organized activity ceases to exist. Individual uncoordinated activity returns in an organization. So, Communication in an organization, is as vital as blood for life.

Types of Business Communication
There are two types of business communication in an organization: 1. Internal Communication 2. External Communication

Internal Communication
Communication within an organization is called “Internal Communication”. It includes all communication within an organization. It may be informal or a formal function or department providing communication in various forms to employees. Effective internal communication is a vital mean of addressing organizational concerns. Good communication may help to increase job satisfaction, safety, productivity, and profits and decrease grievances and turnover. Under Internal Business Communication types, there come;
o o o o


Upward Communication Downward Communication Horizontal/Literal communication Upward CommunicationUpward communication is the flow of information from subordinates to superiors, or from employees to management. Without upward communication, management works in a vacuum, not knowing if messages have been received properly, or if other problems exist in the organization.By definition, communication is a two-way affair. Yet for effective two-way organizational communication to occur, it must begin from the bottom. Upward Communication is a mean for staff to:  Exchange information  Offer ideas  Express enthusiasm  Achieve job satisfaction  Provide feedback Downward CommunicationInformation flowing from the top of the organizational management hierarchy and telling people in the organization what is important (mission) and what is valued (policies). Downward communication generally provides enabling information – which allows a subordinate to do something.e.g.: Instructions on how to do a task.Downward communication comes after upward communications have been successfully established. This type of communication is needed in an organization to:  Transmit vital information  Give instructions  Encourage 2-way discussion  Announce decisions  Seek cooperation  Provide motivation  Boost morale  Increase efficiency  Obtain feedback Both Downward & Upward Communications are collectively called “Vertical Communication”


Horizontal/Literal communicationHorizontal communication normally involves coordinating information, and allows people with the same or similar

rank in an organization to cooperate or collaborate. Communication among employees at the same level is crucial for the accomplishment of work.Horizontal Communication is essential for:  Solving problems  Accomplishing tasks  Improving teamwork  Building goodwill  Boosting efficiency

External Communication
Communication with people outside the company is called “external communication”. Supervisors communicate with sources outside the organization, such as vendors and customers. It leads to better;
o o o o

Sales volume Public credibility Operational efficiency Company profits

It should improve
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Overall performancee Public goodwill Corporate image

Ultimately, it helps to achieve
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Organizational goals Customer satisfaction

Types of Communication
Communication is a process of exchanging information, ideas, thoughts, feelings and emotions through speech, signals, writing, or behavior. In communication process, a sender(encoder) encodes a message and then using a medium/channel sends it to the receiver (decoder) who decodes the message and after processing information, sends back appropriate feedback/reply using a medium/channel.

Types of Communication
People communicate with each other in a number of ways that depend upon the message and its context in which it is being sent. Choice of communication channel and your style of communicating also affects communication. So, there are variety of types of communication. Types of communication based on the communication channels used are:

1. Verbal Communication 2. Nonverbal Communication

Verbal Communication
Verbal communication refers to the form of communication in which message is transmitted verbally; communication is done by word of mouth and a piece of writing. Objective of every communication is to have people understand what we are trying to convey. In verbal communication remember the acronym KISS(keep it short and simple). When we talk to others, we assume that others understand what we are saying because we know what we are saying. But this is not the case. Usually people bring their own attitude, perception, emotions and thoughts about the topic and hence creates barrier in delivering the right meaning. So in order to deliver the right message, you must put yourself on the other side of the table and think from your receiver’s point of view. Would he understand the message? how it would sound on the other side of the table? Verbal Communication is further divided into:
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Oral Communication Written Communication

Oral Communication
In oral communication, Spoken words are used. It includes face-to-face conversations, speech, telephonic conversation, video, radio, television, voice over internet. In oral communication, communication is influence by pitch, volume, speed and clarity of speaking. Advantages of Oral communication are: It brings quick feedback. In a face-to-face conversation, by reading facial expression and body language one can guess whether he/she should trust what’s being said or not. Disadvantage of oral communication In face-to-face discussion, user is unable to deeply think about what he is delivering, so this can be counted as a

Written Communication
In written communication, written signs or symbols are used to communicate. A written message may be printed or hand written. In written communication message can be transmitted via email, letter, report, memo etc. Message, in written communication, is influenced by the vocabulary & grammar used, writing style, precision and clarity of the language used.

Written Communication is most common form of communication being used in business. So, it is considered core among business skills. Memos, reports, bulletins, job descriptions, employee manuals, and electronic mail are the types of written communication used for internal communication. For communicating with external environment in writing, electronic mail, Internet Web sites, letters, proposals, telegrams, faxes, postcards, contracts, advertisements, brochures, and news releases are used. Advantages of written communication includes: Messages can be edited and revised many time before it is actually sent. Written communication provide record for every message sent and can be saved for later study. A written message enables receiver to fully understand it and send appropriate feedback. Disadvantages of written communication includes: Unlike oral communication, Written communication doesn’t bring instant feedback. It take more time in composing a written message as compared to word-of-mouth. and number of people struggles for writing ability.

Nonverbal Communication
Nonverbal communication is the sending or receiving of wordless messages. We can say that communication other than oral and written, such as gesture, body language, posture, tone of voice or facial expressions, is called nonverbal communication. Nonverbal communication is all about the body language of speaker. Nonverbal communication helps receiver in interpreting the message received. Often, nonverbal signals reflects the situation more accurately than verbal messages. Sometimes nonverbal response contradicts verbal communication and hence affect the effectiveness of message. Nonverbal communication have the following three elements: Appearance Speaker: clothing, hairstyle, neatness, use of cosmetics Surrounding: room size, lighting, decorations, furnishings Body Language facial expressions, gestures, postures Sounds Voice Tone, Volume, Speech rate Types of Communication Based on Purpose and Style Based on style and purpose, there are two main categories of communication and they both bears their own characteristics. Communication types based on style and purpose are: 1. Formal Communication

2. Informal Communication

Formal Communication
In formal communication, certain rules, conventions and principles are followed while communicating message. Formal communication occurs in formal and official style. Usually professional settings, corporate meetings, conferences undergoes in formal pattern. In formal communication, use of slang and foul language is avoided and correct pronunciation is required. Authority lines are needed to be followed in formal communication.

Informal Communication
Informal communication is done using channels that are in contrast with formal communication channels. It’s just a casual talk. It is established for societal affiliations of members in an organization and face-to-face discussions. It happens among friends and family. In informal communication use of slang words, foul language is not restricted. Usually. informal communication is done orally and using gestures. Informal communication, Unlike formal communication, doesn’t follow authority lines. In an organization, it helps in finding out staff grievances as people express more when talking informally. Informal communication helps in building relationships.

Barriers to Effective Communication
Posted on March 11, 2009 by admin

Communication is the exchange of ideas, opinions and information through written or spoken words, symbols or actions. Communication is an important part of our world today. The ability to communicate effectively is considered a prized quality. But people in the world are not alike. These differences, however, can cause problems in sending/receiving messages. Simply these are the hurdles in the way of communication and anything which blocks the meaning of a communication is a barrier to communication.

Barriers to Effective Business Communication
1. Conventions of meaning 2. Differences in perception of reality 3. Values, attitudes and opinions

Conventions of meaning
There are a lot of meanings for a single word. So, it may mislead the reader from the real meaning. Miscommunication may occur due to the use of ‘Denotations’ and ‘Connotations’. Denotations Denotation is the dictionary definition of a word. It means name, object, people or events without indicating positive or negative qualities. These words don’t have clear meanings. Such words are: Car, Desk, Book, House, etc. Connotations A word that separates the meanings of a word from its usual definition is called connotation. These have clear meanings. Such words are: BMW, BC book, mental house etc. So, use of denotations instead of connotations may mislead the reader. Choose connotations & denotations wisely.

Differences in perception of reality
Because of changing world, everyone has its own concept of reality. Each person’s mental filter is unique. In our daily interactions with others, we make various abstractions, inferences and evaluations of the world around that may cause problems in the way of communication. Abstraction It means selecting some detail and omitting others. It may cause problem in communication. One must always try to avoid Slanted statements. That’s why news reporters are said to quote the statement of a person as it is to show it a fact or true statement. Inferences It means conclusion on the basis of assumptions. But for some situations inferences proves fruitful but for some situations it is risky & sometimes dangerous. Evaluation It is a person’s own perception or opinion towards a certain fact. So, difference in perception may become a hurdle in communication.

Values, attitudes and opinions
Communication is also affected by the Values, attitudes and opinions of the communicators. People react favorably when they receive agreeable message. Occasionally people react according to their attitude towards a situation rather than to the facts. Closed Minds Some people hold rigid views on certain subjects. They don’t consider facts and maintain their views. Such person is very hard to communicate with. Sender’s creditability Usually people react more favorably to that communicator who has credibility. So, Values, attitudes and opinions may also become hurdles in the way of communication.

Product Mix & Product Line
Product Line A product line is a group of products that are closely related because they function in a similar manner, are sold to the same customer groups, are marketed through the same types of outlets, or fall within given price ranges. For example, Nike produces several lines of athletic shoes, Motorola produces several lines of telecommunications products, and AT&T offers several lines of long-distance telephone services.

Product Mix
A product mix (or product assortment) consists of all the product lines and items that a particular seller offers for sale. Avon’s product mix consists of four major product lines: cosmetics, jewelry, fashions, and household items. Each product line consists of several sublines. A company’s product mix has four important dimensions: width, length, depth, and consistency. Product mix width refers to the number of different product lines the company carries. For example, Procter & Gamble markets a fairly wide product mix consisting of many product lines, including paper, food, household cleaning, medicinal, cosmetics, and personal care products. Product mix length refers to the total number of items the company carries within its product lines. Procter & Gamble typically carries many brands within each line. For example, it sells eleven laundry detergents, eight hand soaps, six shampoos, and four dishwashing detergents. Product line depth refers to the number of versions offered of each product in the line. Thus, Procter & Gamble’s Crest toothpaste comes in three sizes and two formulations (paste and gel). Finally, the consistency of the product mix refers to how closely related the various product lines are in end use, production requirements, distribution channels, or some other way. Procter & Gamble’s product lines are consistent insofar as they are consumer products that go through the same distribution channels. The lines are less consistent insofar as they perform different functions for buyers.

Roadblocks to Effective Communication
Physical Barriers One of the most common of all barriers off communication is the physical barrier, i.e., physically separated large working areas. It can so happen that the management is in a different building and the employees are located in a different building which makes it difficult to communicate regularly and effectively. Another factor contributing to the physical barrier can be background noise and a distractive work environment. Language Language, though not a major one, is still a barrier for effective communication, especially when used too casually and without much care or concern for its consequences. With English becoming the means of communication, this barrier has somewhat submerged. But, if in the same language of conversation, certain words or grammar is inappropriately used, it can convey a wrong meaning. Therefore, it is a must for the employees and management to stick to as much accuracy in the language of conversation as is possible.

Emotions Human emotions can also prove to be a great barrier in the way of developing an effective communication environment at a workplace. If at the time of the conversation a person is submerged in some emotion, s/he will find it difficult to listen attentively or understand whatever is told to him/her. A person with emotions like anger, hostility, restlessness and fear can neither convey something properly nor listen attentively. Cultural Barriers There are certain cultural barriers as well that can come in the way of effective and proper conversation. The age, race, gender, economic position, temperament, religion, popularity, etc. can all play a role in generating differences among employees, hence giving no space to healthy conversation. Stress When you are mentally disturbed or troubled, you can’t afford to communicate properly to anyone. Undergoing stress related to work in the organisation is a common phenomenon, which makes it difficult for a person to understand the conversation leading to distortion of the communication. Organizational Barrier Poor environment of the organisation, inappropriate and ineffective management, stringent rules and regulations and lack of growth and opportunities in the organisation are some of the factors contributing to organisational barriers in the path of communication. These negative aspects in an organisation work adversely on the psychology of an employee who is then demotivated and too disinterested to pay heed to any organised meeting or discussions. Interpersonal Barrier The employee and the employer should share a unique relationship wherein both of them are able to understand and relate to one another in every possible way. However, when an employer or an employee is unable to understand non-verbal communication such as expressions, body language, gestures, eye contact, etc., and when either of them lacks trust and belief in the other, it becomes very difficult for both of them to communicate and put across things in the right spirit. There can also be a lack of motivation, a lack of co-operation, a fear of punishment and poor relations from the employee’s side. All these perceived threats also serve as a barrier for effective conversation. Channel Barrier If the means of the conversation selected is wrong or the length of the conversation is too long, the communication might get interrupted. Conflicts among employees can also lead to poor communication. Lack of interest in the conversation on part of the employees can also lead to a break in the flow of the conversation. Criticism The management can give out feedback and judgments on the performance of the employee till it is healthy and ethical. But, a criticism that is meant to put down the morale of a person is something that can disturb the smoothness of the employee-employer relationship. Praising Surprising but true, praising can also act as a barrier for effective communication. Too much of appreciation can make employees dependant on these words of praise to want to concentrate on their work and stay focused. If they don’t receive any words of appraisal in the future, they will lack interest and concentration in work.

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