Monthly Archives: March 2007

The 7Cs of Effective Communication

I am a big fan of themes! If you have been reading my blog and newsletters for a while now, you will notice that I like to use acronyms, abbreviations, and cute ways to remember things. This is due to my need and dare I say ability to take detailed information from various sources and condense it into an easy way to remember it, so that I can use it when I need it. Today we are travelling the ‘7Cs’ of effective communication.

Control – Control yourself, your body language, pace, tone, etc., and control the audience or listener. Control the topic and avoid big digressions, control your emotions, control the venue if possible so as to be in a comfortable area and room.

Conversational – do not lecture, do not whine, and do not get angry or over-emotional. Have a conversation. No matter what the other person or people do, in a meeting, negotiation, when a customer is complaining, etc. keep control and keep it conversational. This means back and forth, active listening, and not getting over-emotional for no good reason. Do not get sucked into an argument that will harm your image or relationships later.

Confidence – people are less likely to challenge you and more likely to follow you if you present yourself with confidence. Your voice should be loud enough and at a controlled pace, your body language should be strong (but not stiff) with a straight back, meaningful gestures, great eye contact, etc. and the content of your speech, presentation or point to be made should also come from a confident place, i.e. you know what you are talking about! Do not think that BS will work all the time with everyone. When you have researched and prepared well, you feel confident, and you can let that shine through!

Competency – you have to back it up. Whatever you are saying or selling, be not only prepared but able to back it up. You must be good at what you are suggesting others follow you on as well, if you are asking for a leadership role. Why should I listen to you? Answer that question before you meet the group.

Calm – If you are calm, they are more likely to both calm down others (if agitated) and to continue to communicate calmly. Control your breathing, pace, volume, etc. in a relaxed way. Use rhythmic gestures as well. Nothing fast and darting. Think yoga movements!

Clear – Do not beat around the bush. State exactly what you want people to do, or why they should follow you. Don’t let people guess your meaning. State clearly your objectives or desires, and people will respect you for your leadership and ideas. Please still include the 3Ps (Polite, Professional, Positive) when you deliver your message though.

Concise – Do not waste valuable time. Say what you have to say and ask what you need from your listener or team, and then let them go. When giving suggestions or advice or orders, give them with appropriate details delivered in a short, concise way.

I hope that you have learned how to use these 7Cs and can start implementing them today in your personal and professional communications. Any questions? Please do not hesitate to get in touch with me. Thank you all!

The 3Ps of Communication

Before I tell you about the 3Ps, I just want to thank all of you who have attended my previous workshops/coaching sessions. Thank you very much for your support and your referrals. Remember, I take requests! So please, get in touch with me if you have any questions about small group or private coaching, on any communication challenge you would like to overcome.

Okay, here we go:

The 3Ps are easy to remember and implement. They are something you can keep in the back of your mind when you are communicating in person, over the phone or in writing to give the proper, purposeful tone that you would hope to get from others.

Professional – yes, the first one was a no-brainer. But what exactly does it mean to be professional? It means to be diplomatic, to not show stress, to listen carefully to others who may be complaining or challenging you, and it means to keep in mind at all times that you are a reflection of your company or organization. You cannot afford to take things personally.

Polite – This means at all times, especially in Canada, using or even over-using polite words, phrases and intonation. Notice that it is not enough just to use the words and phrases. We must use a sincere tone, or else we lose credibility. Snapping a “Well I’m sorry, but that’s our policy” to a customer is not perceived as polite. What would you think? What would you prefer to hear? Care about your company, your job, your role. Try to help people even if they are angry and blaming you.

Positive – Use positive words and phrases. Use open body language. Talk about what you or ‘we’ CAN do in the situation, not CANNOT do. Focus on the solution. If you must give negative feedback, accentuate the positive first. Use phrases like ‘remember’, instead of ‘don’t forget’. Use ‘I’ statements not ‘you’ statements, to show your feelings, not a finger-wagging accusation.

Remember the 3Ps of successful communication the next time you are doing business, and I am sure you will inspire others to follow your lead.