Friday, May 23, 2014

Keys to Effective Communication: A 7-item checklist you can follow to make sure your messages are getting through to others.

If you own or run a business chances are communicating with others is a big part of your daily routine. At SkyPlanner, South Florida's premier Salesforce consulting and customization company, we're in a constant state of communication. Whether on the phone troubleshooting issues for current customers, on Skype with members of our international team, or giving presentations to potential customers, a member of the SkyPlanner team is trying to get a message across to someone, somewhere at some time of the day.

For a lucky few communicating with other comes easily, but for many effective communication can be a very difficult task; almost to the point of becoming a huge stressor. But like with all thing in business one can train him or herself to become a more effective communicator. That's where the "7 C's of Communication" come into play. The idea of the "7 C's" was originally introduced by University of Wisconsin professor Scott Cutlip in his seminal work on public relations titled Effective Public Relations. Together, these seven rules provide a good starting point from which anyone can communicate effectively. If you can cross these seven things off your communications checklist it's more than likely that your message will get through to your audience without a hitch. The checklist is found bellow.

Your message needs:

  1. Completeness: Include everything the person on the other end of a communication might need to wholly understand the message you're trying to convey. Leave as little room for interpretation or guessing as possible. 
  2. Conciseness: Have you ever heard the phrase "keep it simple, stupid"? Use as few filler words and extra sentences as possible, be it in a speech or in a simple intra-office memo. 
  3. Consideration: At its most basic this is knowing your audience and communicating how they would best understand your points.
  4. Clarity: Try to convey a single idea per communication. If there has to be more than one idea then make sure to separate them or properly connect them as needed.
  5. Concreteness: Know your purpose and share it as clearly as possible. State exactly what you mean to say. This also conveys that you have confidence in your message and helps build the other party's trust in your authority.
  6. Courtesy: When trying to communicate you should be conscious of the fact that the other party will probably have a preexisting opinion or viewpoint on the issue, and that any communication should be made in a way that doesn't hurt the feelings of said other party. 
  7. Correctness: Keep grammatical errors to a minimum (preferably none). This should be self-explanatory. 
At SkyPlanner we know that the better we communicate the more credibility we have and the more trust our customers are comfortable placing in us. The same can be true with your own business. Just follow make sure to follow the 7 C's of Communication in your everyday business processes.