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There are 7 Cs of effective communication which are applicable to both written as well as oral communication.

These are as


Completeness - The communication must be complete. It should convey all facts required by the audience. The sende message must take into consideration the receivers mind set and convey the message accordingly. A complete comm has following features:

Complete communication develops and enhances reputation of an organization.

extra message if the communication is complete. of receiver. all desired and crucial information.

Moreover, they are cost saving as no crucial information is missing and no additional cost is incurred in conve

A complete communication always gives additional information wherever required. It leaves no questions in th

Complete communication helps in better decision-making by the audience/readers/receivers of message as th It persuades the audience.


Conciseness - Conciseness means wordiness, i.e, communicating what you want to convey in least possible words without forgoing the other Cs of communication. Conciseness is a necessity for effective communication. Concise communication has following features:

It is both time-saving as well as cost-saving. It underlines and highlights the main message as it avoids using excessive and
needless words.

Concise communication provides short and essential message in limited words to

the audience.

Concise message is more appealing and comprehensible to the audience. Concise message is non-repetitive in nature.


Consideration - Consideration implies stepping into the shoes of others. Effective communication must take the audience into consideration, i.e, the audiences view points, background, mind-set, education level, etc. Make an attempt to envisage your audience, their requirements, emotions as well as problems. Ensure that the self-respect of the audience is maintained and their emotions are not at harm. Modify your words in message to suit the audiences needs while making your message complete. Features of considerate communication are as follows:

Emphasize on you approach. Empathize with the audience and exhibit interest in the audience. This will
stimulate a positive reaction from the audience.

Show optimism towards your audience. Emphasize on what is possible rather

than what is impossible. Lay stress on positive words such as jovial, committed, thanks, warm, healthy, help, etc.


Clarity - Clarity implies emphasizing on a specific message or goal at a time, rather than trying to achieve too much at once. Clarity in communication has following features:

It makes understanding easier. Complete clarity of thoughts and ideas enhances the meaning of message. Clear message makes use of exact, appropriate and concrete words.


Concreteness - Concrete communication implies being particular and clear rather than fuzzy and general. Concreteness strengthens the confidence. Concrete message has following features:

It is supported with specific facts and figures. It makes use of words that are clear and that build the reputation. Concrete messages are not misinterpreted.


Courtesy - Courtesy in message implies the message should show the senders expression as well as should respect the receiver. The sender of the message should be sincerely polite, judicious, reflective and enthusiastic. Courteous message has following features:

Courtesy implies taking into consideration both viewpoints as well as feelings of the
receiver of the message.

Courteous message is positive and focused at the audience. It makes use of terms showing respect for the receiver of message. It is not at all biased.


Correctness - Correctness in communication implies that there are no grammatical errors in communication. Correct communication has following features:

The message is exact, correct and well-timed. If the communication is correct, it boosts up the confidence level. Correct message has greater impact on the audience/ readers. It checks for the precision and accurateness of facts and figures used in the

It makes use of appropriate and correct language in the message.

Awareness of these 7 Cs of communication makes you an effective communicator.
While strong leadership is fundamental to business success, an organisation can only succeed when employees at every level clearly understand where the business is going, and they support, and do what is required, to achieve business goals. An overriding objective of any communication program should be to effect a behaviour change. The desired change might be an attitudinal change or it may be a significant change in work processes to support a major shift in organisational direction. Effective leaders communicate strategically, translating important business objectives into terms through which employees readily understand 'what's in it for me?' In response, employees are engaged, align their actions accordingly and work towards propelling an organisation to success. All too often, communication programs fail in that they do not tell employees what the employees want and need to know. Dynamic organisations acknowledge the significant value that effective communication can deliver, especially in the climate of persistent change. Communication is no longer considered to be the 'soft stuff' but is seen to deliver tangible results. Improvement in customer satisfaction, service delivery and product quality, increased employee satisfaction and retention of key talent are just some of the areas in which effective communication will impact the bottom line.

Whose responsibility is communication?

Effective communication should pulse in all directions through an organisation like a heartbeat. But it doesn't just happen. Nor is it solely the responsibility of communication functions. To achieve this level of permeation, responsibility for the communication process must rest with management at all levels across the organisation. Poor communication is repeatedly cited as a key contributor in the failure of major change efforts. Not surprisingly, communication skills are increasingly regarded as a critical skillset for leaders, particularly in situations where the leader is an instrumental driver of change. Rightly, communication skills, both in terms of personal ability and strategic capability, are being given increasing importance in leadership competency models. Leaders who stand out from the crowd are those with exemplary communication skills. Consequently, leadership communication skills training has become a core component of leadership development programs.

Leaders play three roles as communicators

Superficially, communication appears to be deceptively simple - write an email or send a memo. In fact, it's a complex process that must be addressed from many angles to achieve the best results. Leaders must understand all components of the communication process to apply them effectively. To have impact, careful communication planning and management, and clarity and consistency of messages are key factors. Unfortunately, many communication efforts focus only on the delivery of a message, and neglect the vital planning and management of the process. The speed and volume offered by technology through such channels as email and intranet, are often erroneously equated to effective communication. This model shows the three integrated communication roles a leader plays:

As a communication infrastructure builder, the leader must consider a number of issues:

the organisational culture; the current communication climate; identification of various changes that impact stakeholders; integration of communication with other human resources practices. In developing a strategy for any communication program, the leader should:

analyse each stakeholder and the impact of the change for them; determine measurable communication objectives; develop a clear, consistent message that is meaningful to the stakeholder; select and use appropriate communication channels; measure the effectiveness of the communication effort and adjust the strategy as necessary. It is only at this point, in the leader's tactical role as communicator, that message delivery becomes important. The leader may utilise a range of fundamental communication skills, such as:

presentation skills asking effective questions

listening skills facilitation and problem solving conducting high impact conversations coaching and mentoring skills (one-on-one communication) Components of each of the roles will be required in mixed degrees to effectively manage the communication challenges of different situations. The leader must understand these roles and determine the degree of attention that the current communication program demands from each role.

Drivers of effective communication - Leading, Involving, Listening and Informing (LILI)

Overlaying the leadership communication model are the four drivers of effective communication: Leading, Involving, Listening and Informing (LILI). Traditional communication approaches focus only on informing. However, this forms only a fraction of the communication equation. By looking at effective communication in this context, it is easy to see why communication programs that only inform fail to deliver results. Communication is necessarily a two-way process. A communication strategy will evolve and adapt over time in response to many inputs. To shape a strategy that is meaningful and, as a result, effective, leaders should incorporate each of the four drivers, as appropriate to the situation. The leader must know and understand his or her audiences and their information needs. Listening to and involving stakeholders in decisions provides invaluable input and feedback, essential to communication effectiveness. Leading by example, 'walking the talk', sets a powerful behavioural model of commitment, and sends a clear message in times of change.

Leadership communication competency models

In improving leadership communication effectiveness, an organisation must first determine the leadership skills and behaviours, that is, the competencies, that constitute communication excellence. A comparison of the current level of communication competence of an organisation's leaders with the desired level of competence will quickly indicate the nature and extent of the 'skills gap' and training needs of the participants. This assessment will guide the development of the tailored communication training process where leaders can readily acquire new skills. Factors such as business context, organisational culture, and leadership challenges are taken into account when developing training programs. Customisation and careful evaluation of training programs will ensure that the training delivers a sound return on investment and positive business results. Continued acquisition of effective communication skills is an ongoing process. Leaders must be encouraged to continually apply and hone these skills practically.

Effective communication: how do you rate?

Check your communication effectiveness by answering yes or no to the following questions:

Do you have a communication strategy that guides all your communication activities? Do you know exactly what you want employees to understand, think and do in response to your communication?

Is your message consistently aligned with the vision, values and objectives of your organisation? Is your communication a two-way process? Do you measure the effectiveness of your communication? Do you use the results of previous programs to adjust future communication initiatives to improve effectiveness? Does your communication incorporate the four communication drivers: involving, listening, leading and informing? Do you know how employees prefer to receive communication e.g. face-to-face, email? Have you delegated responsibility for communication to your leaders? Is your leadership team delivering a consistent message? Do your leaders understand their role as communicators in your organisation?

How do you rate: 7 and above: Congratulations - you stand out in the crowd, your communication should be
delivering value to your organisation.

4-7: You are on your way - the questions to which you answered 'no' will help to identify where
you could improve the effectiveness of your internal communication.

4 and below: Your internal communication is not effective - how much could this potentially
mean to your bottom line?

What makes an effective leader in tough times?

In uncertain times leaders cant rely on past performance as a predictor of the future. They need to be flexible so they can respond to changes in the market place or within their organisation quickly and appropriately. Survival can depend upon being able to keep close to the skin of the business, managing costs
tightly and preparing for the upturn when it comes. They need strong communication skills so they can deal with anything that comes their way with sensitivity. This can be a difficult balancing act for even the most confident of leaders. So, what do they need to consider? First and foremost people want to be kept informed about whats going on. This means leaders need to be more effective than ever when they communicate with their teams. Employees want leaders to be honest about whats happening in the business. As Stephen Walker of Motivation Matters wrote in a recent Training Zone article People weigh up the inconsistencies between the formal and informal communication. They ask Do I still believe what they are saying?. As he points out being truthful is vital for success because people pick up on any incongruence very quickly. This requires not only good judgment but excellent communication skills to ensure the tone is right for the situation. If cost cutting is a must and this means some people will leave the organisation it's important to let people know the facts in a simple and straightforward way and give them a chance to ask questions. Where you haven't got an answer say so and keep them informed. Let them have the missing information or solution to the problem they raised as soon as you can. How leaders communicate is important. They need to be able to adapt their style for varying situations and to meet the needs of different people. Those leaders who are most successful also have lots of personal impact. So what is personal impact? The dictionary defines impact as: the force of impression of one thing on another or an effect or change caused by some factor. Thats what leaders with personal impact do: they make a positive impression on others. One way they achieve this is by using all three of the channels of communication visual, vocal and verbal. Many leaders spend hours crafting the words when they want to communicate especially when they have an important or sensitive message they have to deliver. While this is important they sometimes underestimate the vital visual and vocal channels of communication. Visual impact covers everything

from the clothes people wear, personal grooming, right through to the car that they drive. Body language is important too. People pay a lot of attention to those non-verbal signals especially where they dont match the words that are spoken. When someone says, Were on track to achieve our target using minimal body language, the team may doubt their manager means it. If they use a gesture to emphasise the point they might be more convinced. Vocal impact is important too. Some people look great and the moment they open their mouth you change your view of them. Perhaps their voice is high-pitched and squeaky, they mumble, or speak way too fast for you to work out what theyre saying. A leader can have fantastic visual impact that is severely let down by his or her voice. Imagine what it would be like if in the example given earlier if the managers voice was monotone with a bored tone. Its highly unlikely the people listening would believe it let alone be inspired to work towards this goal. The bottom line here though is that people are far more inclined to trust the non-verbal message a leader sends than the words they use. When all three Vs are in place, a leader is likely to be trusted, seen as authoritative and able to motivate their team through a difficult period. As well as being honest people expect their leaders to find a speck of light at the end of the tunnel. By showing the way forward leaders demonstrate to their teams that they are in safe hands. As every good leader knows, motivation is affected by the environment people are working in. Atmosphere and emotions are contagious. If the leader is fearful the team will be fearful. When the leader is positive that their organisation can get through a tough period the staff start to feel positive about things too. Just because a leaders role is to provide clear direction doesn't mean that they have all the right answers. The most effective leaders have a strong team of people around them with expertise in different areas such as finance, sales, marketing and operations. They also work as a cohesive team who trust one another enough to challenge each other while working towards a collective goal. In tough times it is all too easy for individuals to start looking out for themselves. Leaders need to look out for this behaviour and be prepared to 'nip it in the bud'. Time invested in getting the team together to review how they are working with each other will save precious energy and effort being wasted in this way. Some newspaper articles are starting to suggest that we are on the road to recovery. In the London Evening Standard on 11 May the City Correspondent, Hugo Duncan, quoted various gurus and economic pundits who were all predicting, to varying degrees, tentative signs to suggest the recession is bottoming out or even coming to an end. Whether they are right or not, when the upturn comes leaders need good motivated people in place to capitalise on the opportunities available. It's important that leaders demonstrate how much they value their people and the contribution they make. They need to spot signs of stress and make sure this most valuable resource their staff has adequate support by providing essential training and resources. Leaders can achieve success through a combination of having a clear vision of the way forward, honest communication, effective teamwork, and demonstrating that they value the people who work for them.