Before you hit send on your next email or mass communication, take a few minutes to check that your message has the essential ingredients for success. The 8Cs of Good Communication comes in various forms. I’ve listed below what I’ve found is most useful when communicating during uncertain times or change.
Ask yourself whether or not your message is:
Are you writing or speaking with clarity and saying what you mean? Have you:
- Been as specific and concrete as possible?
- Limited the number of ideas in each sentence?
- Used data and visuals to convey critical messages?
To make your message clear, choose short, familiar words, and remove jargon. Include examples or other visual aids that may help your message get across.
Articulate your vital messages with brevity and simplicity. Choose words that are meaningful and relevant to your audience. Focus on the overall objective of the message and ask yourself whether you’ve written the same thing in different ways. Remove unneeded repetition, filler words, and unnecessary sentences.
Use the right message at the right time for your intended audience. Double-check your work before hitting send. Have you:
- Checked your writing for grammatical errors?
- Used spell-check and verified name spelling and titles for accuracy?
Make sure you relay information that is accurate and applicable. Use specific facts and figures, and make sure there’s a logical flow of information. If you’re sharing information that may be controversial, have you removed inherent biases and showcased all sides of the story?
Be honest, straightforward, and focus on the relevant and positive aspects that will excite and inspire others. Does your message leave room for doubt or uncertainty? Have you removed those filler words that could dilute your message?
Keep your audience’s viewpoint top of mind. Be thoughtful, sincere, and appreciative. Demonstrate empathy and understanding by stepping into the shoes of the other. Emphasize “you” and “us” to be inclusive.
Be open and friendly. Recognize and appreciate the contributions of others. Incorporate the needs, concerns, and ideas of your audience so that you can personalize your message. Talk about the benefits and emphasize what’s possible.
Your message should convey all the facts required for your audience to understand. As the sender, take into consideration their mindset and tailor your words accordingly. Communicate all key points and leave little to no room for doubts, confusion, or unwanted questions.