How to Communicate Effectively | 7 C's of Communication
Do you get nervous thinking about a presentation?
Do you shiver and feel underconfident when you've to give a speech or participate in a debate?
Do you wish to speak in public gatherings or meetings, but fear about not being able to communicate your thoughts well?
Does writing an email looks like a big task to you?
Trust me, I've been in the same place and was searching all over the internet for ways to improve. In this blog, I am going to discuss this topic. It includes 7 points that people generally ignore, but they can help you communicate your ideas and thoughts effectively if followed.
For those who want to watch the video instead of reading it, here is the link:
"The art of communication is the language of leadership."
When I'm talking about communicating effectively, I'm not talking about informal communication at all. When you're talking to your parents and your friends, nobody judges you, and you don't have to present yourself properly.
We're not talking about that. Here, I'm talking about Business communication. Or if you want to give a speech, or participate in a debate competition or, let us say that you're doing a job somewhere and you want to talk to your colleagues professionally, communicate your ideas effectively in any meeting.
So we're talking about that communication. In this blog, we will discuss the 7Cs of communication.
There are 7 types of things. They are not created by me but available all over the internet, although they are very underrated. People don't give attention to something like this. But I feel that if you understand this for once, and start implementing this in real life, it will help you very efficiently.
It's a little bit of a theoretical topic. A blog for informal and formal communication for the practical will be released soon.
But let's understand this first. Let's start, then!
To keep your point specific, without adding any unnecessary details while explaining yourself, is called Clarity.
You don't have to do much. Whatever your point is, you only have to explain it comfortably and not include unnecessary details. Whatever your matter of work is, include it to the point.
I have an excellent example of that, as well. So let us go through that. For instance, if in any company the hiring policies have been updated and the HR has to inform the employees. There are two ways to do that. The first way is,
Statement: "We have considered the consequences of the existing policy on the hiring strategies we employ without the human resources department and updated them accordingly."
That is the first way. And the second way is that you could say directly,
Better statement: "We have updated our hiring policy."
So, if you look here carefully, the main content for these two ways is that the hiring policy has been updated in both scenarios. The stories around don't matter to the employees.
So, statement 2 that I've said is much clearer. It's explaining the entire thing in a short sentence.
Whatever you're including in your speech or presentation, any data or information, or if you've done any research and getting your inputs from there, try to make sure that they're correct. Although if you've done any research then it shouldn't be wrong.
Even nowadays, we see that if any famous person has posted a link on Twitter that turned out to be wrong with wrong facts and figures, then people begin to make jokes about them.
From a business perspective, try to see that whatever data you're including is authentic and correct.
Since there's no need to give an example for this, let's move on to the next point!
To be concise means to explain whatever you want to in fewer words. So, there are a lot of people who beat around the bush and make what they have to convey into a 4 liner when it's only supposed to have two lines.
For an example, let us consider this,
Statement: "When I started my own business, it has given me a whole new perspective to see the bigger picture when it comes to finding a work-life balance."
So, this is the statement that I've written, but you can concise it even more. Which would be,
Better statement: "Starting my own business has given me a new perspective on work/life balance."
Look carefully; the meaning of both these statements is the same. But one is small and the other bigger. So, that basically means that whatever speech you're writing, whatever presentation you're trying to give, keep it short. Because it becomes readable and can be explained more easily.
The basic meaning of courtesy is that you should give the person you're talking to some respect. You should talk to them politely.
So if you look at it in general, when you're talking to someone, and they give you some respect, you're more attracted to them. Haven't you ever felt the same? Rather than talking to somebody who's making jokes regarding you and teasing you, you like the people who provide you with some respect. So, that's why you should always give the person you're talking to some respect.
This even helps you in business. The person you're conversing with is convinced easily.
I have a really good example of this. For instance, think of yourself as the manager of a place, and one of your employees has been unable to perform a task. So, there are two ways of conveying that to them.
The non-courteous way would be, "We are amazed at your inability to assess the market trends."
Here, you are informing them directly that what you've done is wrong.
But the courteous way would be this, "We request you to reassess the market trends."
So, you've almost said the same thing in both scenarios: "You've done the work wrong." But in one scenario, you're telling them that in a non-polite way, and in the other, you're politely telling them.
Just imagine that if you were in the employee's place and you had made any mistake, and if someone comes and comments rudely on the quality of your work, it doesn't feel good, right? It feels bad. So that is why you have to be courteous, you have to be humble with everybody while speaking.
So, the meaning of concreteness is that you should be to the point, you should be specific. To prove your point, you should include a few things. You can include some facts and figures.
For instance, if you have to prove a point, and you've done some research on that, then you should include percentages and facts and everything that can prove your point.
So, an example for this could be,
Statement: "Your sales numbers are on the low side. They need to be improved to at least the team's average."
In this statement, if I want to add more concreteness, I will include some numbers.
Better statement: "Your sales conversion rate is below 50%. You must improve this to the team average of 60% or higher."
So, the second statement sounds clearer and is easily understandable. That's why you should try to include such things which incorporate trust in the other person.
This fundamentally means that you're placing yourself in the place of the person standing in front of you. And pondering, "Will they be able to understand what I want to say?"
So, basically, you're putting yourself in their shoes, and you're judging if they'll be able to understand what you're trying to say.
I have a very good example of that. For instance, you have opened a start-up and are not able to give any bonuses.
You could say,
Statement: "We are unable to pay bonuses now. The business is awaiting payment from a major client. Once this payment is received, we can consider paying bonuses as soon as it's practicable."
So, over here, you've told outright about the problem and that you won't be able to give a bonus. But if you put yourself in the employee's shoes, then you should explain this a little more fittingly.
Better statement: "Unfortunately, we're not presently in the position to pay your bonus However, as soon as our major client has settled their account, we will pay any bonuses owed to you. We're sorry about the delay but are sure you understand our need for positive cash flow and the long-term benefits this will deliver to you."
So, here you've put yourself in their place and thought how they must be feeling because they didn't get any bonuses. You've apologized to them and put forward your point politely for them, as well.
This is the final point. It means that whatever you're saying or writing, complete it.
I'll be able to explain it properly with an example.
The manager says to the employee,
Statement: "You haven't completed the task that I set you."
So, here a manager hasn't explained himself. We don't know what task he is talking about, or when the employee should've finished the task, etc.
But if you say this properly, it'd be,
Better Statement: "The data analysis for client ABC that I asked for on March 5 should have been completed by today. Will you have it finished this afternoon?"
So, if you look here, all the questions have been answered. The employee has understood which task the manager is talking about when he should've finished the task, and what he's done wrong.
This example helps you even more. For instance, you're in a manager's position at a company, and you've told your colleague that he's supposed to finish some task.
If you haven't explained yourself properly, they would come back and ask. You'll have to explain again and give them more details, which just increases your time to complete that task.
The much better way is that you give them the information in one go so that they don't have to ask again and you don't have to explain again.
The simplest way to do this is by asking yourself these five things. Whatever you're writing or telling something, ask these five things to yourself.
When, Why, Who, Where, and How.
So if these five things explain what you've written, then that means it's complete.
So, these were the 7Cs of Communication.
Now, what do we do with them, you ask? Do you learn them and then think about them theoretically?
No. What you have to do now is, next time onwards, whenever you're communicating with anyone, or you're giving a speech, or you've got the time and you want to prepare a write-up or write an email, refer to these 7Cs.
Nowadays, jobs and everything is work from home and is online. So, how are you communicating with others? Mostly you're talking through email or chat.
In that case, you've got a lot of time to think and write, to think about your replies.
For example, you're writing an email, and there is a draft, then you could refer to these 7 points. And if you start doing it and make it a habit, then you'll get used to it, and you'll start using this method unconsciously.
This will take some time, but slowly you'll understand how to improve your communication skills.
Let's see the summary of what we've learned in this blog.
So the first point is 'Clarity,' where whatever you want to convey should be short without including unnecessary details and should be to the point.
Then the second point is 'Correctness,' where whatever data you're including shouldn't have any grammatical errors or mistakes.
After this, we saw 'Conciseness,' in which whatever you're trying to say should be small.
Then we saw 'Courtesy,' where you should be polite and give the person you're talking to some respect.
After that, we saw 'Concreteness,' Where to prove yourself, you should include data, figures, and some numbers.
Then we saw 'Consideration.' It's where you put yourself in the other person's place and consider, "Can they understand what I'm trying to tell them?"
Then, at last, we've seen 'Completeness,' where whatever you're trying to say should be completed. Don't leave it like a cliffhanger.
And last but not least, the most important, be confident in yourself and the hell with others. There's that saying, "Kuch toh log kahenge, logon ka kaam hain kehena." (People will talk, it's their job. But the hell with them) Remember that, and you'll ace your conversational skills and be an avid communicator.
You'll say that we have to care when we're conversing in business, and we can't wish them to hell. But then, there, confidence is necessary, which only comes, at least to me, when I think about that famous Hindi saying.
So, that's all for this blog, guys. If you think this blog has added any value to your life, do Like, Comment, and Share!
And see you in the next blog!