Seven C¶s of Effective Business Communication

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Correctness Clarity Conciseness Completeness Consideration Concreteness Courtesy

1. Correctness
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:
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Use the right level of language Correct use of grammar, spelling and punctuation Accuracy in stating facts and figures Correctness in message helps in building confidence.

2. 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.

3. 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.

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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

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

Seven C's of Good Communication
Printer friendly By President/CEO of Roger ABCO Payroll Services Reynolds Inc.

MBA from Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio

Before starting this article let me define a term used throughout the article. Remington Raider: This is a term used in the military to define the support personnel, those using a typewriter to do their job. The manual typewriter brand that was used was "Remington", thus the term "Remington Raider". I use the term to define anyone not making their living by the sweat of their brow...like insurance agents....

Since I started my Remington Raider training there have been tremendous changes in the technology of communication. The most advanced technology I had access to was an IBM selective typewriter. There were no word processors, computers, FAX machines or email.

Not only has the technology of communication changed so have the roles of executives and their assistants. No longer can our inadequate communication skills be hidden behind our secretaries. The secretary has been replaced by administrative assistants and email makes communication instant. The business executive is forced to write his or her own communications (thank God for spelling and grammar check).

When I first started my business career I didn't have access to any means of communication except the telephone; no typewriter, FAX machine or email. I had a choice of dictating letters to the secretary or hand writing the letter or memo and having the secretary type it for me. It was always my choice to hand write the letter which gave me a chance to review and edit before having it typed.

Although technology has changed, the essential elements of good business communication have not changed. Following are the seven "C's" of a good business letter:

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COMPLETE 1. Have you given all the facts? 2. Have you covered the essentials? 3. Have you answered all his/her questions? 4. Did you PLAN what you said?

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COURTEOUS 1. Will it win good will? 2. Have you used positive, "pleasant-toned" words? 3. Have you used "I appreciate," "please", and "thank you" somewhere in your message? 4. Would you enjoy reading what you have said?

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CONSIDERATE: The YOU-Attitude 1. Have you put the client first?

2. Have you floodlighted his/her interests? 3. Have you walked in his/her moccasins? 4. Have you talked his/her language?

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CLEAR 1. Have you used familiar words, short sentences? 2. Have you presented only one idea in each sentence? 3. Have you avoided "business" and technical terms? 4. Have you used the reader's language?

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CONCISE 1. Have you plunged right into the subject of the message? 2. Have you avoided rehashing the reader's letter? 3. Have you said enough, but just enough? 4. Have you avoided needless "filler" words and phrase?

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CONCRETE 1. Have you given the crisp details the client needs? 2. Have you made the details razor and needle-sharp? 3. Have you flashed word pictures, made facts vivid?

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CORRECT 1. Have you checked all facts for correctness? 2. Have you spelled the reader's name correctly? 3. Have you verified all numbers and amounts? 4. Is the appearance of the letter effective? Is it clean, well-spaced? 5. Have you checked your spelling, punctuation, grammar, etc.?

The chief art in writing is to know:

1. How much to put in. 2. What to leave out.

3. When to quit.

The test is this: Will your inclusion of the material make it easier to understand? Will it help the message achieve its purpose? No letter is too long if a reading proves every word necessary.

From the time I served as a "Remington Raider" in the army to the present day it has been part of my job to write letters or memos to be sent out to hundreds of recipients. It didn't take me long to learn if the communications didn't follow the seven "C's" there would be confusion and a lot of calls for clarification.

One thing I always remember when writing a business letter is most people are not going to read beyond the first paragraph, so it is important to have the purpose of the letter in the first paragraph. When we send out cancellation letters we don't take the chance they might not read even the first paragraph. In all capital letters above the first paragraph we type in bold letters "NOTICE OF CANCELLATION OF SERVICES".

After the first paragraph is the time to explain the why, when, actions needed and so forth. At times it might seem harsh not to explain the reasons for your action prior to getting on with the purpose of the letter. I remember receiving a memo at a company I worked for that informed everyone of the closing of our Reno warehouse. It was the third paragraph before they actually acknowledged the warehouse was closing. The first two paragraphs were filled with reasons for the closing - sales not meeting projections, need to cut expenses, etc.

Poorly written letters not only decrease the confidence clients have in your business, but can also cause confusion and potential liability.

7 C's Of Amazing Business Communication
Communicating in the business world may seem a daunting task, but never fear. The essence of business communication can easily be boiled down to seven simple c's. Heed these lessons and watch your communication skills soar! Correctness Strive for accuracy in speech and in writing and always double check your facts. Measure twice, cut

once. Effective communication fails if you're always revising your facts and figures through a lack of diligence in your preparation. Concision Be direct in your communication, write and speak to the level of your audience, and never be afraid to edit, edit, edit. The key to effective communication is grabbing your audience's attention quickly, delivering the messages you need to and leaving them feeling as though their time has been put to good use. Clarity Be clear. This cannot be stressed enough. When writing a proposal or discussing an issue with a client or coworker, address the issue as plainly as possible. Clarity and concision go hand and hand. If you're having difficulty explaining something through speech, write it down. If you're having difficulty putting it down into words, draw it out and see if you can make a visual aide to explain the idea. Completeness Give all of the relevant data, analyze it as thoroughly as possible, and give as complete a picture as you can regarding any given topic. Never leave it to someone else to fill in the blanks for you. Concreteness Avoid generalities in speech or in writing. Be specific, cite your sources thoroughly, and never dither. If your audience doesn't think you believe in a given proposal, neither will they. Consideration Effective business communication is not all about you. In fact, it is rarely about you. It is about explaining your ideas and your research to others, so keep your audience in mind. Try to anticipate their concerns beforehand and address those in your speech or writing, or at least mull them over and plan ahead for effective answers to their concerns. Courtesy Be pleasant to your audience, treat them with respect both directly and indirectly. For example, use honorifics wherever possible (i.e. Dr., Mr., Mrs., etc.) but also show respect for other's time and effort. Be prompt when replying to emails and phone messages; be respectful when disagreeing with another's idea. Never disparage them personally, and be sure to deliver any criticism as clearly and thoughtfully as possible.

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