Seven C’s of Effective Communication(with respect to written communication)
Written communication occupies an important position in the communication sphere, so written communication has to pay adequate attention on certain principles of necessity. The essentials of every written communication are principles of unity, coherence and emphasis. These principles along with other essentials of effective communication, like language, planning and organization make the written communication effective.
- Clarity: The writing should be correctly planned and expressed in a logical way,and the writer should make sure that the ideas flow smoothly from beginning to end. The message must be so clear that even the dullest man in the world should readily understand it. The communicator must be very clear about all the aspects of the idea in his mind and about the purpose for which it is to be communicated. Next to it, he must be clear about the selection, suitability and usage of the medium. The signals of the encoded message must be carefully composed of and transmitted well. Clarity of written language is the first and foremost emphasis one should seek in writing. So clarity of language is a form of courtesy. Clarity, therefore, can be achieved in writing by taking pains by writing to serve the purpose rather than to impress readers. Understanding the subject bring about clarity in the writing. Don’t jump about from one part of the writing to another and then back to the first aspect. This is confusing for you and the reader. Deal with each aspect separately and clearly. Clear description brings about the script alive, takes readers to where you have been and evokes atmosphere. It can bring flavor in the most arid and dry news story and make the difference between a report that satisfies and one that does not.
- Completeness: It is an essential factor for effective communication. A message must be organized appropriately in the sense that it must include all the important ideals and its details. The contents of the message must be checked in order to verify that there is no omission of the relevant details. An incomplete message can do little to convey the information and to persuade the receiver. All the aspects of the message must be grouped and brought together in logical sequence to prepare meaningful thought units. The communicator effort can be more fruitful and effective if the receiver easily reacts to the sender’s message. The incomplete messages may create doubts in the receiver’s mind. The receiver of the incomplete message feels angry, confused and irritated by it. Effective writing communication implies a condition of being complete and clear. The principles of unity or completeness apply at three levels; one, the individual sentences must be unified. Two, individual paragraphs must be unified and three the totality of the script must be unified. The first principle states that each simple sentence must contain a single idea clearly expressed. All sentences relating to a particular matter constitute a unified individual paragraph. Each paragraph in a section forms a unit of thought. All units of thoughts structurally constitute the message of entire communication or a unified message. Each unified individual sentence conveys only one central idea. It must be direct, simple, brief, clear and vigorous. Too much use of buts, ands, pomposity and technical jargon must be avoided. Prompt and adequate attention of the reader is the essence of purposeful communication. Completeness in writing is achieved through orderly arrangement of ideas flowing into other ideas and progressing into conclusion. An incomplete writing leads to side tracking, misunderstanding, seeking clarifications and explanation etc. thus, the writer must consider the receiver’s capabilities to understand.
- Coherence: Coherency is equally essential for good written communication. Clear communication in simple sentences helps the reader to understand. Facts and figures must be stated plainly and in an intelligent manner. Relation and clarity are the two important aspects of coherence. Coherence means, tying together of several ideas, under one main topic in any paragraph. Smooth flow, lucidity and transition aspects should be given effect to and there should not be any scope for the reader to misinterpret, mis-read or mis- spell the message. Coherence is given to a larger paragraph or section of a message and leads to purposeful communication where the writer is well received, read, understood and acted upon by the reader.
- Conciseness: Conciseness is an important factor in effective communication. It means saying all that needs to be said and no more. The aimless verbiage, unnecessary details and heavy paragraphs make our communication ridiculous and ineffective. We must omit those words and sentences from our message, which are not likely to bring about results. The message, which can be expressed in fewer words, is more impressive and effective than the same message expressed in a number of words. The communicator must organize his message in such a way that every word in it is meaningful and of interest to the receiver. Even a single word or a sentence, which does not contribute to accomplish the purpose of the communication, should be carefully omitted. Conciseness refers to thoughts expressed in the fewest words consistent with writing. It is achieved in writing in definite style and use of precise words. Unnecessary superlatives, exaggeration and indirect beginning should be avoided. Care should be taken to use adjectives judiciously, avoiding irrelevant details, unnecessary expression and mumbling sentences. Avoid vague judgmental descriptions and be precise and clear.
- Credibility: A good writing is always forceful and direct and has the power and capacity to produce a reaction or desired effect. Clarity in writing brings about credibility because it ensures that others understand the message easily and quickly. A clear and direct approach in writing makes it possible to achieve the principle of credibility in your writing. Other essentials of writing like correctness and completeness add to the strength of credibility in the writing.
- Correctness: Without correctness, readers may refuse your write up.Communication must be correct in tone and style of expression, spelling, grammar, format, contents, statistical information; stress-unstressed, etc. there should not be any inaccurate statements in the message. Efforts must be made to avoid errors in spellings, punctuations, etc. the incorrect written documents lower the readers’ confidence in the writer. In the same way, the incorrect statements and other miscellaneous errors of the speaker lower the listeners’ confidence in him and it may tarnish his image and reliability too. When communication receiver finds one error he suspects that there can also be other errors in the message. Therefore, he starts searching for other mistakes automatically. The subject matter of communication must be correct or accurate. The manner in which the message is transmitted must be absolutely correct. Accuracy in writing can be achieved by careful checking and editing. Correctness demands accurate figures, because decisions may go wrong if wrong figures are given. Over writings, erasures, strikeovers, wrong spellings, faulty grammar, poor sentence construction etc may distract the readers and lead to misunderstanding. Written communication clearly means making others to understand. Therefore, it is essential that the sender should verify the correctness of the information before transmitting it to the receiver. And before accepting the information for important decision-making, the receiver should clarify his doubts regarding the accuracy and correctness of the message.
- Continuity: As far as possible the writer should avoid jargon. Jargon is a language that is special to science, commerce, technology, trade and profession. In writing, the jargon should not be incorporated as this could make the writing confusing and unclear. Brevity or use of fewer words brings about continuity and grace in your writing. The effect of good writing depends on its style and continuity of subject till the conclusion. If one takes care to be precise, correct and clear in writing and if the continuity is maintained throughout writing, the desired effect from the reader is achieved.