Brain cramps can sneak up on anyone at the end of a long day of constant communication. As the irksome cousin of writer’s block, which temporarily robs someone of the ability to figure out what to say, brain cramps stifle someone’s ability to decide how to say it. When you’re a small-business owner whose livelihood depends on effective business communication, this is one cramp you need to purge in a hurry. Referring to the seven C’s of business communication can help – especially, if you pair them with a cogent reminder as to why they matter.
Effective Business Communication Is Clear
Anyone can become an unwitting accomplice to a brain cramp if that person tries to “muddy up” a message with unnecessary formality and a few so-called twenty-dollar words. As much as you might wish to impress – remember that the overriding goal of communication is to make sure that you are understood. Clarity is distinguished by explicitness, short sentences and concrete words – of the five-dollar variety. They’re still priceless.
Effective Business Communication Is Complete
No small-business owner wants to be misunderstood or told that he “forgot” to add something to a communique. It requires back-pedaling, which can be a colossal time-waster. Usually, incomplete communication isn’t the result of someone not knowing or not having information but is usually the result of deciding that something wasn’t necessary to include. You can avoid this pitfall by keeping your audience top-of-mind. If you can’t picture their wants and needs – err on the side of including more information – rather than less.
Effective Business Communication Is Concise
Of all your business communication strategies, it probably helps most to place yourself in the role of the receiver. To wit: When you open an email, text or letter, or you hear that someone wants to speak with you – you probably want to know: “What do you want from me?” Being concise requires that you to get to the point quickly, while avoiding unnecessary wordiness, “over talking” and repetition. Concise messages are not only more appealing – they’re also more memorable.
Effective Business Communication Is Concrete
Think of concrete communication as the cousin of clarity and concision. Often, concrete communication is fortified by facts, figures, illustrations and examples – anything that can help clarify a message so that it is not misinterpreted. It leaves nothing to chance and less to the imagination. Concreteness can also embolden and enliven communication – and make a name for a small-business owner who is determined to stand out.
Effective Business Communication Is Considerate
You already know that successful business communication skills depend on you stepping into the shoes of the receiver so that you can tailor your message accordingly. Consideration raises the stakes by injecting some emotional intelligence in the process – by showing interest, being positive and optimistic, avoiding the word “you” in favor of “we” and encouraging questions. Even when your message doesn’t engender a smile or appreciation, your delivery can.
Effective Business Communication Is Correct
It should go without saying that business communication should be correct, if not flawless. But in this age of “hurry-up” communication, who hasn’t seen bad texting habits, such as ungrammatical or sophomoric abbreviations creep into other forms of written communication? Believe it: People will judge you – and your small business – by the words you use and how you use them. Proper spelling and punctuation are as vital as communiques that are grammatically correct.
Effective Business Communication Is Courteous
Courtesy is the final cousin in the crowd of the seven C’s of communication – and is closely related to consideration but is different enough to merit a separate mention. Courteous communication is polite and respectful communication – imbued with such words and phrases as “Thank you” and “Please” and – in verbal communication- direct eye contact and the occasional nod of the head. Courtesy is also reflective in nature – especially verbal communication – as the recipient assesses your response.
If you’re starting to regard the seven C’s of communication as a communication cocktail, you can be assured that you have the right ingredients – to not only accomplish *effective business communication* but also to purge those occasional brain cramps.