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What Are the Seven C's of Business Communication?

It's important for people in the business world to be courteous.
The seven C's of business communication outline how a person should communicate with his or her peers, supervisors and customers.
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  • Written By: Amanda R. Bell
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 30 October 2014
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Business relies heavily on the verbal and written transfer of information, whether between individuals or groups. The seven C’s of business communication are a list of seven words detailing how a person should communicate with his or her peers, supervisors, and customers. Three detail the type of information that a person should convey — “concrete,” “correct,” and “complete.” The remaining four words relate to how a person should convey this information — “clear,” “coherent,” “concise,” and “courteous.” The last term, however, may also be described as “considerate.”

The type of information that a person or company delivers or expresses is extremely important when it comes to business communication, and two of the seven C’s that relate to this are the terms “concrete” and “correct.” The latter refers to the idea that a person or company should provide others with a solid understanding of what he or she is saying by always using specific words, ideas, and examples, rather than relying on non-figurative terminology. Just as important as a clear picture is a correct one. This term in the seven C’s of business communication suggests one should always check his or her facts as well as make sure that all written communications are presented using correct spelling, terminology, and grammar.

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In addition to providing a concrete and correct verbal or written communication, a person should always aim to provide complete information. Prior to sending out any written documents or giving a verbal presentation, the term “complete” in the seven C’s of business communication is a reminder to ensure that everything another person or group needs to know is provided. For example, a request for a person to attend a meeting is not complete unless the requestor provides a date, time, and location for the meeting.

The terms “clear” and “coherent” refer to how much and what kind of information is passed along. According to the seven C’s of business communication, exchanges should always be clear, and the receiving person should never be left confused or wondering what exactly the other person meant. In addition to this, written and verbal communications should also be coherent. While these two C’s are similar in nature, being coherent typically refers to instances where two or more ideas are combined. This term suggests that only related ideas should be put together, and they should be presented in a way that makes logical sense.

Although many of the seven C’s of business communication aid in reminding a person to provide plenty of information, it also requires that a person be concise. As business correspondence and conversation is primarily about passing data back and forth, it is important that an individual does not take up time by relaying unnecessary details. Keeping communications concise and to the point, while still being complete and clear, is essential.

Perhaps one of the most important of the seven C’s is the term “courteous,” or “considerate,” and it is the only one that has little to do with the type or quality of the information passed along. The manner in which people and companies communicate with one another is one of the primary factors that determine the type of relationship that those involved in the business have. Keeping every single exchange courteous and polite, no matter how short, and conveying thoughts and ideas in an compassionate and thoughtful manner is essential to developing and maintaining these relationships and, therefore, to succeeding in business.

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fify
Post 3

I think that the most important C is "correct." I can manage with information that's not very concise, but it has to be correct. I need to know that I can rely on the information, which can be a very important issue if it affects decision making in a business.

burcinc
Post 2

@literally45-- I think the part of the problem is that in school, we are encouraged to write long papers. So we learn to make things longer and more complex than they need to be.

The business world is different. People don't have the time or patience to read long paragraphs or a twenty page report, when just a few sentences or a few pages will do.

So I think that many people have a problem with being concise. I think that managers and supervisors need to be a little patient and emphasize their expectations from employees. If they don't know the seven C's, they can learn.

literally45
Post 1

As difficult as it is to believe, there are many people working in the field of business who do not know the seven C's of business communication. Sometimes, I receive emails or documents that are much less than satisfactory.

The seven C's of business communication are straight forward. They're not difficult to do or develop. This also makes me doubt the type of education and training people receive before reaching these positions.

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