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Principles of communication: 7Cs of business communication

Swift, clear and precise communication is the foundation of any business operation. Quick, effective communication improves productivity, increases efficiency, and reduces redundancies. Whether you are emailing a colleague, pitching a client, or preparing for a job interview, strong communication skills will help you sell more, get more done, and help you land your dream job.

Below, we take a look at the seven principles of communication every business must follow. The seven Cs of communication is a list of principles for written and spoken communication to ensure that they are effective.

The importance and benefits of effective business communication

Workplace communication is the transmission of information or message between workforces in an organisation and an important aspect of an organisation. It helps organisations to run their businesses effectively. Effective communication at the workplace also facilitates raising morale, productivity, and accountability of employees. 

In the absence of workforce communication in an organisation, different adverse effects can occur like high employee turnover, decline in productivity, resource wastage, etc. Effective communication plays an important role in controlling these.

Below are the advantages or importance of communication in the workplace:

1. Enhances team building

Effective communication at the workplace helps in developing strong teams. While communicating with each other, the staff shares their ideas and distributes their duties by collaborating and this enhances the team spirit. Workplace communication also helps in keeping employee’s morale high by making all team members equally important in the workplace. This ultimately increases team spirit and a positive attitude among employees.

2. Growth booster

Effective workplace communication enhances business growth by increasing workplace productivity, optimum utilisation of resources, etc.

3. Enhances innovation and creativity

Without workplace communication, employees or the workforce won’t be able to communicate or present their ideas and this hampers the creativity and growth of employees. So, effective communication at the workplace among workforces encourages creative and innovative ideas.

4. Boosts productivity

If the workforce can communicate effectively and also the supervisor communicates properly with the team then it helps in increasing their work efficiency in completing the assigned projects in less time. This ultimately helps in increasing productivity.

5. Increases efficiency

Poor communication compromises efficiency, as well as the overall quality of work. When instructions aren’t provided clearly, mistakes are bound to happen. On the other hand, clear instructions eliminate the need to clarify and correct any issues.

6. Boosts loyalty

Effective and continuous workplace communication also helps in making staff loyal to the organisation. Communication allows staff to discuss their professional and personal issues with their seniors comfortably and creates a trust factor among the workforce. Thus, employees become more loyal to the organisation.

7. Fewer workplace conflicts

Communication in the workforce helps in preventing or resolving different conflicts at the workplace by eliminating misunderstandings or differences of thoughts and working styles between different employees. Conflicts in the workplace generally arise due to:

  • Misunderstanding: Misunderstanding arises if both communicators have different communication patterns, but they feel that the way they are communicating with each other is good enough. This may lead to conflict.
  • The dissatisfaction of emotional needs: Sometimes people feel that their emotional needs are not being satisfied while communicating with someone. The feeling of disrespect or disregard can generate conflict. For example, disagreement between employees over a particular issue can be resolved through proper and open communication. If not resolved, it may create hurdles in their work efficiency and productivity.

8. Enhances employee engagement

Employees feel more engaged in their work and to each other as a team through effectively communicating with each other. An engaged workforce is more aligned to the organisation’s objectives and also motivated towards their own goals or targets. 

Communication increases employee engagement through managers that better understand the requirements of employees,  motivational factors to motivate them, hidden talents and skills of employees.  Better connectivity and relation between co-workers and superior-subordinates creates a positive and healthy work environment.

9. Problem solver

Effective communication in the workforce also removes different problems in the workplace. People discuss in an open forum or in meetings to resolve different issues and can sort out the issues by reaching common solutions to problems.

10. Skills enhancement

Clear communication helps in enhancing the skill set of employees by discussing their skill needs and sharing skills with others.

11. Improves client relationships

With effective communication, employees can manage the relationship with clients in a much better way by understanding their needs, resolving any issue or conflict, making them understand, presenting information to clients in a more innovative way for fast and positive response, etc.

Barriers to communication

A barrier in communication is a blockage or hindrance that prevents transmission of the intended meaning of the message to the receiver or group of receivers.

Different types of barriers are defined below:

1. The barrier of language

The language barrier creates hurdles in effective communication. So, while communicating with the workforce, different considerations have to be taken care of.

For example, some people are good at communicating in the English language while others are not comfortable with that. So, while communicating to a large audience where the majority of people are not proficient in a particular language, this barrier may limit effective communication if not handled properly.

2. Barriers related to psychological factors

Different psychological factors may also create hurdles to effective communication. The mental condition of the communicator heavily influences effective communication. A disturbed state of mind can also disturb communication.

For example, people having psychological issues like depression, stage fear, lack of attention, traumatic experiences, low-confidence, values, and beliefs, etc. may create certain limits in effective communication if not handled well.

3. The Barrier of emotional factors

A person with high emotional intelligence (EQ) can communicate in a more effective way than a person having low or average EQ. An emotionally balanced or mature person can communicate with ease and comfort. While people who are unable to handle their emotions, usually face different obstacles while communicating. So, the right mix of emotion is required for effective communication.

For example, different emotional states like anger, sadness, frustration, etc. can adversely affect communication by lowering down decision-making capability.

4. Physical barrier

Different environments or natural barriers in communication are considered physical barriers.  It can be noise or distance or equipment, etc.

For example, an environmental barrier may be bad weather conditions while communicating.  In bad weather conditions, people may not be able to pay full attention during communication. Similarly, the distance between desks and equipment that is not working well like phones, etc, has a great influence on the ability to effectively communicate.

5. The Barrier of cultural differences

In today’s era of globalisation, different organisations are hiring people from different places in the world. Workforces from different countries have different cultures, values, behavioural patterns, opinions, body language, etc. The way people behave and think also depends on the culture from which they belong to. So, while communicating, consideration of different cultures is required. While communicating, these cultural factors can become hurdles.

For example, in western culture or countries, a warm handshake is considered a part of greeting when people meet and communicate. But in different countries, handshaking is considered bad manners while communicating (for instance in Arab countries).

6. Organisational barriers

Barriers to flow of information among the workforce can create serious challenges. Examples are misleading information or messages, and a lack of transparency. Other organisational barriers can be related to rules and policies, hierarchy levels or complex organisational structures, and facilities in the organisation, etc.

For example, many management levels in the organisation can affect communication i.e., there may be a delay in receiving messages or change in the appropriate meaning of messages at the time of receiving. 

Strict rules and policies may also become a barrier to effective communication. For instance, if there is a policy or rule of the medium of messaging i.e., through written communication by e-mail only. In this case, employees have no choice other than communicating in writing even if the oral communication in a particular situation can be better and faster than written.

7. Barriers related to the attitude or behavioural issues

Different people have different types of attitudes or behaviour. If there is a match between the opinion and attitude of the sender and receiver, then the receiver will accept it favourably. However, in the case of mismatch between attitudes and views of both the sender and receiver, then the response of the receiver may not be positive, or it may result in conflict. Different people have different personalities like introvert or extrovert, and then some are even egotistic or judgmental, etc. Sometimes the excessiveness of these traits becomes a hindrance to effective communication.

For example, if a policy change in an organisation seems to be in favour of an employee, then they communicate effectively, but if it’s not then they give negative feedback. Thus, it creates a barrier to communication.

8. Perceptual barrier

Different people have different perceptions of the same message i.e., different people may interpret the same information differently.  Perception barriers may result in false information, false beliefs, and confusion. This ultimately creates ineffective communication.

For example, a new department head of the sales department makes changes in the functioning of the department and communicates the same to the team. This communication may be taken by 2 different team members differently based on their perception. One team member has the perception that change is not good, so they may react to this change negatively and this creates a barrier to effective communication. On the other hand, another team member may take this change positively due to their perception that change is always good.

9. Physiological barriers

Different limitations of the body and mind of humans may also create barriers to effective communication.  These limitations can be ill-health, memory issues, stammering problems, lack of attention, poor eyesight, hearing problems, etc.

For example, sometimes a person sitting in a meeting is not able to answer queries of other people due to a lack of attention caused by personal issues or problems.

10. Barriers related to technology

Technical barriers are due to rapid advancement in technology. Sometimes these technologies may not produce effective communication.

Some people may not be able to communicate effectively on different devices due to lack of know-how.

The 7 principles of communication

Therefore, the seven Cs of communication is a list of principles that you should ensure all of your communications adhere to. Their purpose is to help ensure that the person you’re communicating with, hears what you’re trying to say. The seven Cs are: clear, correct, complete, concrete, concise, considered and courteous.


A message that leaves the reader scratching their head is a failed message. Clarity springs from a knowledge of the message (what you want to say), the method (how you want to say it), and the medium (what format do you want to say it in). A lack of insight in any one of these components is going to affect the effectiveness of your message. 

There are several stages to clarity.

Firstly, it’s important to be clear about the purpose of the message you’re delivering. The recipient should be made aware of why they are receiving the message and what you’re trying to achieve by delivering it. If there are multiple goals, each should be laid out separately.

Secondly, it’s essential that the content of the communication is itself clear. You should avoid jargon, use simple language, use simple structures and focus on the core points of your message.

Example: While giving a presentation on a particular topic, the presentation should cover the material related to the presentation topic, also voice tone and words should be clear and easily understandable to the audience.

Here are some tips to create effectiveness in your communication:

  • Use particular words
  • Avoid interfering words or sentences
  • Use exact words of information
  • Check the words before sending
  • Never use abusive or misleading sentences


It’s essential that both the factual information and the language and grammar you use are correct. If your audience spots errors in either, they will be distracted, and your credibility will be greatly reduced. This will reduce the effectiveness of your communication.

A mistake in communication creates confusion as well as makes our communication unfruitful. Follow the tips given below:

  • Before sending the message, check the grammar and spelling
  • The salutation should be in an honoured manner
  • All the facts, figures, etc. should be correct
  • Send messages at the correct time
  • Do not neglect anything which is important


Communication should be complete to be effective. A message is said to be complete when the recipients of the message receive all the necessary information that they want to be informed, to follow your line of reasoning and to reach the same conclusions you have. This level of detail will be different in different situations, and you should adjust your communications accordingly.

In addition, you should make things as easy as possible for the recipient. For example, if you are issuing a “call to action”, provide explicit guidance on that action. Increasingly it’s common to include things like hyperlinks in written communications or to attach FAQs, both of which help audiences access a complete set of information while also ensuring that core communications focus on core messages.

The message must be self-sufficient, that is, it must hold good on its own without support from other messages. This is particularly apt for blog posts which often end abruptly and leave the reader scratching their head.


When shaping your communication, you must ensure that you are specific and that the logic and messages that you’re using fit together, build on each other and support each other. Your arguments should be based on solid facts and opinions from credible sources, and you should share irrefutable data to support your argument.

It may be important to help bring the solid nature of what you’ve created to life for your audience through examples that show the relevance of your messages for them as individuals.


When communicating messages of this nature it’s important to stick to the point and keep your messages short and simple. Don’t use 10 words if you can use five. Don’t repeat your messages.

The more you say, the more risk there is of confusion. Avoid that risk by focusing solely on the key points you need to deliver.

Look at some tips given here:

  • Arrange the words in sequence
  • Avoid unnecessary wording
  • Don’t repeat the words
  • Say everything in short message

Example: Writing an email invitation to different clients for an organisation’s annual day celebration function requires a more concise email message. A concise email carrying information about venue, date & time followed by a brief itinerary of the function is much clearer than describing everything of celebration in a subjective way.


You can increase the effectiveness of your communications by being polite and showing your audience that you respect them. Your messages should be friendly, professional, considerate, respectful, open and honest.

To help ensure you are courteous, you should always use some empathy and consider your messages from the point of view of the audience. 

Some tips:

  • Give a prompt reply to messages
  • Avoid irritating quotes
  • Apologise if there is any mistake or misbehaviour
  • Always say ‘thank you’ without hesitating


If your communications are not coherent, they will not be effective. To help make sure your communications are considered and coherent you should have a logical flow and your style, tone and language should be consistent throughout. All terms of the message should be interconnected and relevant to the message being conveyed. 

In addition to making sure that each communication you issue is coherent within itself, you should also ensure consistency of the message when delivering multiple communications, so as to maintain consistency in the communication flow.


Business communication is dramatically different from casual or literary communication. It has its own principles, aims, and language patterns. Mastering business communication will make you a more effective leader, increase your sphere of influence, and help improve workplace efficiency.

Learn more

To learn more broadly about communication, consider these courses on Effective Communication as well as Managing difficult conversations.

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