Principles of Communication
To compose effective messages it is important to apply certain specific communication principles. These principles tie closely with How to Find Librarian jobs in Ethiopia. the basic concepts of the communication process and are important for both written and oral communications. They provide guidelines for choice of content and style of presentation-adopted to the purpose and receiver of your message. They are called the ‘seven C’s’. This unit discusses these principles.
After completing this unit, you should be able to:
- Identify the 7C’s of communications
- Apply in your day to day communication to compose a good message
The seven C’s of communication are Completeness, Conciseness, Consideration, Concreteness, Clarity, Courtesy and Correctness. They are explained as follows:
A business message whether oral or written is said to be complete when it contains all facts the reader or listener needs for the reaction you desire. Completeness is necessary for several reasons: First, complete messages are more likely to bring the desired results with out the expense other messages. Second, they can do better jobs of building images/goodwill. Third, they can help avert costly lawsuits that may result is important information is missing.
Guidelines for Completeness include:
- Answer all Questions Asked: when you are replying to an inquiry try to answer all questions asked. A prospective customer’s reaction to an incomplete reply is likely to be unfavorable. The customer may think the respondent is careless or is purposely trying to conceal a week spot. For instance, in a reply to a customer request, if you fail to answer the entire question, you might loss a customer. Hence, you should take your time to give reply to the customer.
- Give Something Extra, when desirable: if you receive a letter with the word “when desirable”, it implies that you must give more information in addition to the questions asked.
- Check for the WH questions and any other essentials: to help make our message complete is to answer, whenever desirable, the ‘WH’ questions who, where, what, when, why and other essentials like how. For instance, to organize a concert, we need to specify the type of concert (what), location (where), date and time (when), performers (who), and other necessary details (how).
A concise message saves time and expense for both sender and the receiver. Conciseness is saying what you have to say in the fewest possible words without compromising the other C’s. Conciseness contributes to emphasis. By eliminating unnecessary words, you help make important ideas stand out.
To achieve conciseness try to observe the following guidelines:
- Eliminate Wordy expressions: eliminate unnecessary words from your statements.
- Wordy: If and when we can establish and define our goals and objectives, each and every member will be ready and willing to give aid and assistance.
- Instead: When we define our goals, each member will be ready to help.
- Wordy: There are 4 rules that should be observed.
- Concise: Four rules should be observed.
- Include only Relevant Statements: the effective, concise message should omit not only unnecessarily wordy expressions but also irrelevant material. To be sure you include only relevant facts, observe the following suggestions:
- Stick to the purpose of the message
- Prune irrelevant works and rambling sentences
- Omit information obvious to the receiver; do not repeat at length what that person has already told you
- Avoid long introductions, unnecessary explanations, excessive adjectives and prepositions
- Get to the important point tactfully and concisely
- Avoid Unnecessary Repetition: Sometimes repetition is necessary for emphasis. But when the same thing is repeated again and again without reason, the message becomes wordy and boring.
Consideration is to show care for your listener or reader, to see things form the receiver’s point of view, and to have a ‘you-attitude’ instead of ‘I-attitude’. Are your considerate?
- Do you show your readers you care about their needs in the message you send and the way in which you send it?
- Have you looked at your letter from your reader’s point of view?
- Have you used a warm, friendly tone that tells your readers you care about their needs?
The following are guidelines to achieve consideration:
- Focus on ‘you’ instead of ‘I’ or ‘’We’: Your receivers are more concerned about themselves than about you or the organization you represent. They are more likely to read your message when they see their name and the pronoun “you” rather than “I”, “we”, or “us”.
|I want to send my congratulations for ….||Congratulations to you on your …|
|we give the best service from around the locality||You can get the best service from around the locality|
|We welcome you to our online bookshop. If we can be of additional help, please call on us||You are welcome to our on-line bookshop. Please call on us whenever you need additional help|
|We pay 8% interest on …||You earn 8% interest on…|
N: B In situations like below, it is advisable not to use ‘YOU’.
- When the reader has made a mistake
- Poor: Your contract tells you clearly not to
- Better: I am glad to explain more fully the contract terms.
- When a reader has an opinion different from us.
- Poor: You are entirely wrong in your attitude.
- Better: The proposed plan has three aspects which are extremely important and which we need to explain now.
- Show Reader Benefit or Interest in Reading: whenever possible, show your receiver the benefit that they will get from the message. They will be more likely to react favorably and do what you suggest if you show what benefits are worth the effort and cost.
- Emphasize the Positive, Pleasant Facts: a third way to show consideration is for your audiences is to accent on the positive. This means stress on what can be done instead of what cannot and focus on words your recipient will consider favorably.
|It is impossible to open an account for you today||As soon as your signature card reaches us, we will gladly open an account….|
|We do not refund if the returned item is solid and unsalable||We refund when the returned it is clean and resalable|
- Apply Integrity and Ethics: to be truly considerate, you need also apply integrity-high moral standards, personal honor, truthfulness, sincerity-to your written and oral messages. Integrity is indispensable in our jobs, in business transactions, in social and political activities, in everything we do. Without it, business communications would prove worthless, and our confidence in people would be shattered.
Ethics is concerned with what is right human conduct. Communication requires honesty and moral, both within and outside the organization. Integrity with persons outside the organization requires “Doing the harder right instead of the easier wrong.”
Integrity is also important with or about co-workers. Dishonest behavior towards employer include claiming sick leave when not ill; internal thefts, etc. Unfair communication about co-workers includes providing false information about someone to a superior.
Concreteness refers to being specific, definite, and vivid rather than vague and general. The following guidelines should help you compose concrete, convincing messages: