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Tips & Lessons for 2022: The Three Cs of Communication

Tip:
Whether in an email, voicemail or on conference call, when communicating with others remember:
Be Clear
Be Concise
Be Correct


Relevance:

After reading an email or being in a conference call, do you ever come away thinking “What did they mean?” When working on a team, the ability to communicate well has always been important. Today, it’s even more important when many of us aren’t working in a shared office environment where hallway or kitchen conversations can provide added clarity to our discussions. Prior to our working-from-home world, we could clarify discussions in casual conversations, dropping by someone’s desk to ask a question or stopping them in the hallway.

Lacking that in-person contact, it’s more important than ever that we are clear, concise and correct in our communication.

  • Clear – Avoid ambiguity. Be clear about your key message and ideas. Anticipate any knowledge gaps in your audience. Avoid jargon. Use vocabulary that everyone will understand.
  • Concise – Short, direct sentences are easier to follow than a long, rambling thought. Have a beginning, middle and end. Avoid filler words that clutter the message. In writing, use formatting (bullet points, paragraph breaks), but avoid exclamation marks or other intensifiers. Your words should do the work, not your punctuation.
  • Correct – Check your facts before stating them. People count on you to be honest and truthful. If you don’t know, say you’ll find out. Avoid miscommunicating by preparing beforehand. You’ll be seen as a trustworthy source that others can rely on.

I’ll add a fourth C: Courtesy. Be courteous and kind when communicating. Your integrity and kindness will make you a person that others will want to listen to and engage with.

7 comments

The C's are good advises for the "sender" role in a communication process.

I would introduce a 4th (5th? ;-) ) "C": Customize.

Whatever you'd like to communicate (which is basically a "transfer of information"), it needs to be at an appropriate comprehension and apprehension level for the target audience. Hence customization is required i.e. you'd need to select/use appropriate:

  • levels of details
  • technicality of the language used
  • the time/duration of the communication (see e.g. the "inbox zero" mentioned by @Christine P_ Dela Rosa)
  • the appropriate medium (eMail, chat, video conf., documentation etc.)
  • ...

Just think about a PowerPoint presentation you're working on to "communicate about your project".
How would it look like for management, development team, external stakeholders et al. audiences?

Like # people like this

@Rose Eliff

Thank you so much for your appointments. It's so helpful, and we need to (try) to work on it this way.

Cheers,

Like Rose Eliff likes this
Like Rose Eliff likes this

Genuinely, a little more care in how we communicate will make all receivers much more appreciative. I know I'm guilty of writing with a "stream-of-consciousness" style, but upon reread, it's almost always true that an edit would help.

Like # people like this
Taranjeet Singh Community Leader Jan 19, 2022

Thanks for sharing this tip, @Rose Eliff ! These 3 Cs of communication are very important in both personal life and professional world and can lead to avoiding a lot of problems that arise due to miscommunication.

Like Rose Eliff likes this

Hi @Rose Eliff 

   Thanks for the advice, if we add to that trying to put ourselves in the position of the person who is going to receive our communication, it would be ideal, because he thinks: How would you like to receive a communication? How would you like to receive an email? language would you like them to use with you?, maybe a smiley face at the end would be nice

    Empathize, respect and education in addition to the three "C" would be wonderful

Cheers

I would boil this down even more: Words Matter!

Like Rose Eliff likes this

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