7cs of communication (and more)
Effective communication is essential in every job and every organisation, and is particularly critical when delivering projects or business transformation. A badly delivered project can be perceived to be successful if there is effective communication. Unfortunately, and quite commonly, the reverse is also true. You might build an absolutely fantastic website for example, but if no one knows how to find it or what to use it for it has no value.
There are many moving parts in a project, and therefore many different recipients who need communicating to. They are likely to have distinct needs in terms of their communication – perhaps they need to know different things or are best communicated to via different channels and at different times.
In this post we’ll talk about the 7cs of communication and the benefits of a good communications strategy or plan.
7cs of communication
There are some very simple rules relating to communication, which are often called the 7cs. If you employ the 7cs of communication you’ll be making a good start on effective communication.
Be clear with your message and keep it as simple as possible
Least words possible saves time for the sender and ensures the receiver can get to the point of the communication quickly
Ensure that all your facts and figures and accurate and correct. Employ proper use of spelling, grammar and use of language. The explosion of texting and message means that our use of grammar has gone out of the window, and that we often employ shorthand or acronyms. Consider whether this is appropriate in your communication.
The communication must employ all the facts required by the receiver
Consider the audience and their requirements. Ensure the method of communication is appropriate to the audience (e.g. verbal, email, text, presentation) as well as the content. In some cases communication needs to be done in multiple ways, or multiple times in order to be effective.
Be definite and specific, not vague
Think about the receiver, their culture, viewpoint, behaviours and be respectful.
It can be helpful to put in place a communications strategy or plan. Large programmes will have a high level communications strategy which will outline the goal and approach to communications. It will discuss communications channels and audiences. The communications channel is simply the method of communication e.g. text, email, verbal.
A communications plan either sits below a communications strategy or, on smaller projects, is the only communications artifact in place. A communications plan will contain information on who is being communicated to, by what channel and when.
TOP TIP At Easyprojecthub we put this into a simple table, and also include any key communications in our overall project plan.
It’s important to identify all the possible channels of communication, the different audiences and how each should be communicated to. Sometimes multiple channels are appropriate, or several stages of communication. Early and frequent communication ensures that stakeholders, or people affected by projects feel in control and understand the changes. Do be careful not to overwhelm recipients with too much information.
In general it is not possible to over communicate. Most projects suffer from under-communication. Planning your communication and employing the 7cs will ensure that your communication is effective and appropriate.
Effective communication should not be underestimated and can actually make the difference between success and failure on a project.
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