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7 C’s of Communication Theory


7 C’s of Communication

What are the 7 C’s of Communication?

Communication theory or principles refer to the 7 C’s of communication, which are practical and essential for the business world and beyond. Effective communication powers strategic planning in commerce and ensures strategic and operational goals and objectives are met. SMEs in all industries and sectors could benefit from implementing the 7Cs into their business infrastructure.

Communication is a constant part of our daily lives, whether at home, work, or online. We communicate in various ways – through speaking, body language, and written words. However, our messages can get lost in the noise, leading to miscommunication and misunderstandings.

Good communication is crucial for success, and one way to ensure clear and effective communication is by following the 7 Cs of the communication framework. These principles act as a checklist, guiding us to communicate concisely and audience-focused. The 7 C’s help us deliver our message in a way that is easily understood and received by others.


This article will explore the 7Cs of communication theory – principles, their significance, strategies, and additional topics for effective communication. The succeeding content will show you structurally the essentials – tools, techniques, and implementation planning and further discuss the impacts of communication design, including an introduction to information design.

Here is the unordered list of the 7Cs of communication principles.

The first C stands for clarity. To communicate effectively, we must be clear about the message we want to convey. This involves organizing our thoughts, using simple language, and avoiding jargon or complicated terminology that may confuse the audience.

The second C is for conciseness. Being concise means expressing our ideas in a brief and to-the-point manner. It involves eliminating unnecessary information and focusing on the key points. This helps to keep the audience engaged and prevents them from getting overwhelmed with too much information.

The third C represents coherence. Coherence refers to the logical flow of ideas in our communication. Presenting our thoughts in a structured and organized way is essential, ensuring that each point connects to the next. This helps the audience understand the message better and prevents confusion or ambiguity.

The fourth C is for completeness. It is crucial to provide all the necessary information in our communication. This means addressing all relevant points and answering any potential questions or concerns the audience may have. Incomplete communication can lead to misunderstandings or the need for further clarification.

The fifth C stands for correctness. Communication should be accurate and free from errors. This includes using proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation and verifying facts or figures before sharing them. Correct communication helps build credibility and ensures that the message is received as intended.

The sixth C represents courtesy. Communication should always be respectful and considerate of the audience. This involves using polite and appropriate language, being mindful of cultural differences, and avoiding offensive or discriminatory remarks. Courtesy in communication helps to maintain positive relationships and fosters a healthy communication environment.

The seventh and final C is for consideration. Effective communication requires understanding and addressing the needs and expectations of the audience. It involves being empathetic, listening actively, and adapting our communication style to suit the recipient’s preferences. Considering the audience helps ensure that our intended message is received and understood.

Incorporating these 7 C’s of communication into our daily interactions can enhance our ability to convey messages, minimize misunderstandings, and build stronger relationships with others. Mastering these principles can significantly contribute to successful communication outcomes in personal or professional settings.

Chart 1.1 illustrates the 7Cs of communication theory in order.

7Cs of communication theory - principles


  1. Completeness
  2. Concreteness
  3. Courtesy
  4. Correctness
  5. Clarity
  6. Consideration
  7. Conciseness

Introduction

Communication is essential to human values and interaction, enabling exchanging information, ideas, and emotions. Effective communication is crucial in various aspects of life, including personal relationships, professional settings, and business environments. To enhance communication skills and ensure effective communication, the 7 C’s of communication theory provide a comprehensive framework.

These principles, namely Completeness, Concreteness, Courtesy, Correctness, Clarity, Consideration, and Conciseness, serve as guidelines for effective communication.

  1. Completeness

Completeness in communication refers to including all necessary information to convey a message accurately. It ensures that the receiver clearly understands the message without any ambiguity or confusion. Incomplete communication can lead to misunderstandings and misinterpretations, hindering effective communication.

To achieve completeness in communication, it is essential to:

  • Provide all relevant details: Ensure that all relevant information is included in the message, leaving no room for assumptions or guesswork.
  • Answer preemptively: Anticipate and proactively address the receiver’s questions in the message.
  • Avoid leaving gaps: Fill any gaps in the information provided, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of the message.

Completeness in business communication:

  • Pros:
    • Avoids misunderstandings: Complete communication reduces the possibility of misinterpretation, ensuring that all parties clearly understand the message.
      – Enhances decision-making: When all necessary information is provided, it enables better decision-making as individuals have access to all relevant details.
  • Cons:

    • Time-consuming: Ensuring completeness in communication may require additional time and effort to gather and include all relevant information.
    • Overwhelming: In some cases, providing excessive information can overwhelm the receiver, making it challenging to extract the key points.

  1. Concreteness

Concreteness in communication refers to using specific, vivid, and tangible language to convey a message. It involves avoiding vague or abstract terms and providing precise details that leave no room for ambiguity. Concreteness enhances the clarity and impact of the message, making it more memorable and engaging for the receiver.

Strategies for concreteness in communication:

  • Use specific examples: Illustrate your message with concrete examples that the receiver can relate to, making it easier for them to understand and remember.
  • Avoid jargon and technical terms: Use language easily understandable by the receiver, avoiding complex jargon or technical terms that may confuse or alienate them.
  • Provide specific details: Instead of general statements, provide details and facts supporting your message, making it more credible and convincing.

Tactics for concreteness in business communication:

  • Use case studies: Present real-life examples and case studies to demonstrate the practical application of your message in a business context.
  • Provide data and statistics: Back up your claims with relevant data and statistics, making your message more concrete and persuasive.
  • Use visual aids: Incorporate visual aids such as charts, graphs, or images to enhance the concreteness of your message and facilitate understanding.

Crucial takeaway: Concreteness in communication helps capture the receiver’s attention, making the message more memorable and impactful. Using specific language, examples, and details ensures the receiver understands and retains your message.


  1. Courtesy

Courtesy in communication refers to using polite and respectful language, tone, and behaviour when interacting with others. It emphasizes the importance of considering the receiver’s feelings, perspectives, and cultural differences. Courtesy fosters positive relationships, promotes open communication, and avoids conflicts or misunderstandings.

Strategies for courtesy in communication:

  • Use polite language: Choose words and phrases that convey respect and consideration for the receiver.
    • Be attentive and responsive: Give your full attention to the person you are communicating with, actively listening and responding appropriately.
    • Avoid offensive or derogatory language: Refrain from using language that may be offensive or disrespectful to the receiver, considering their cultural background and sensitivities.

Tactics for courtesy in business communication:

  • Use appropriate greetings and salutations: Begin your communication with a polite greeting or salutation, addressing the receiver respectfully.
  • Respond promptly: In business settings, responding to messages or inquiries and respecting the sender’s time and needs is crucial.
  • Use inclusive language: Be mindful of inclusive language that respects diversity and avoids discrimination or bias.

Crucial takeaway: Courtesy in communication builds trust, fosters positive relationships, and promotes a harmonious environment. Being respectful and considerate in your communication can create a conducive atmosphere for effective interaction.


  1. Correctness

Correctness in communication refers to the message’s accuracy and precision. It involves proper grammar, spelling, punctuation, and adhering to the language’s rules. Correctness ensures the message is understood as intended and avoids confusion or misinterpretation.

Strategies for correctness in communication:

  • Proofread and edit: Before sending any written communication, review it carefully for errors in grammar, spelling, or punctuation.
  • Use appropriate language: Tailor your language to the receiver, considering their level of understanding and familiarity with the subject matter.
  • Verify facts and figures: Ensure that any facts, figures, or statistics included in your message are accurate and reliable.

Tactics for correctness in business communication:

  • Use professional language: Maintain a professional tone and language in business communication, avoiding slang or informal expressions.
  • Double-check details: When communicating important information such as dates, times, or numbers, double-check the accuracy to avoid misunderstandings or mistakes.
  • Seek feedback: If unsure about the correctness of your message, seek feedback from colleagues or supervisors to ensure accuracy.

Crucial takeaway: Correct communication enhances credibility, avoids misunderstandings, and ensures that the message is received as intended. By paying attention to grammar, language, and accuracy, you can convey your message effectively and professionally.


  1. Clarity

Clarity in communication refers to using clear and straightforward language to convey a message. It involves avoiding ambiguity, complexity, or unnecessary jargon that may confuse or mislead the receiver. Clarity ensures that the message is easily understood and interpreted correctly.

Strategies for clarity in communication:

  • Use simple language: Choose words and phrases that are easily understandable by the receiver, avoiding complex or technical terms unless necessary.
  • Organize your message: Structure your message logically and coherently, using headings, subheadings, or bullet points to enhance clarity and readability.
  • Be concise: Avoid unnecessary repetition or wordiness, getting straight to the point and conveying the message succinctly.

Tactics for clarity in business communication:

  • Use visual aids: Incorporate visual aids such as diagrams, charts, or graphs to enhance the clarity of complex information or data.
  • Summarize key points: Provide a summary or critical takeaways at the end of your message to reinforce the main points and ensure clarity.
  • Seek clarification: If unsure about the clarity of your message, encourage the receiver to ask questions or seek clarification to avoid any misunderstandings.

Crucial takeaway: Clarity in communication ensures the message is easily understood and interpreted correctly. You can enhance by using simple language, organizing your message effectively, and being concise.

» Refer to the article on 7C’s communication theory for more information.


January 23, 2024