The 3 Cs of Effective Communication

Why do we trust certain people. Why do we vote for certain politicians. Why do we buy from certain companies?

Whether you realize it or not, it may be because those people and organizations use the 3 C’s of Communication. So what exactly are they and how can we use them in business to position ourselves as great bosses, business partners and team leaders?

The 3 Cs of effective communication are:

Clarity
Consistency
Confidence

Clarity
When your message is clear, unambiguous and straight-forward – people like it!! They know where they are, they trust what you say and they understand what to do! However, in business, we all know people whose comments can be misunderstood or misconstrued or maybe even misleading! Then it gets worse… you have the group I call “The Translators”. They try to speak on behalf of the team-leader. They reveal that even though he just SAID this, he actually MEANS that! result? Chaos!!

So – conduct a self-diagnostic. Were you clear? It may have been clear to you in your brilliant mind…but was it clear to everyone else?

Consistency
They say that young kids or even new puppies react best to a message which is consistent. Actually, we all do! Statements, direction and instruction which seem to fit the normal patterns of behavior – within the boundaries of people’s expectations are respected, believed and followed.

If, however, you unexpectedly change direction, screech round a u turn or take a whole new approach, there is suddenly surprise and a touch of confusion.

“Wait, what?…but I thought…” becomes the phrase of the day.

It gets worse if you offer no clear explanation behind the change in direction and worse still if you deny what you said last time – that way lies mutiny!! If inconsistency is the tone of your approach to leadership people quickly learn not to trust you and your judgement calls.

Here’s your next self-diagnostic… If you know you have changed direction, be honest about it. Where appropriate, offer your reasoning and maintain an open stream of communication winning people over to the new plan.

Confidence
Did they believe you? Did u believe yourself? People read confidence like a bear can read fear or a dog can smell chicken! It’s like when you get in a cab in a foreign city and you ask for “West Street” and the driver let’s out this long confused “errrr…” while randomly trying to activate his SatNav. You just lose all confidence in his directional aptitude and you start wondering what would happen if you actually opened the door, at speed, and rolled onto the street.

Displayed confidence in communication is essential. It is a key signal that your team will read and react well to.

The self-Diagnostic – Be sure, certain and happy with your decisions before you announce them to the team. Try to pre-guess the cynical or negative ‘pushbacks’ and be ready for them. Demonstrate confidence and win true ‘buy-in’ to your plans.

While challenges in the business world are clearly very different to the political world – one thing is certain – using the 3 Cs of communication with your clients and teams will always help you steer your way to a far more successful outcome.

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