One can say we are living in a golden era of communication and whether it is our personal lives or profession, communication is playing a crucial role in growth and success. Nowadays, we are conversing with people in-person, telephonically, and through text-based mediums such as chats and emails. Irrespective of the platform, interpersonal communication has to be impactful and delivered in the right manner. It is not only the way you speak but also the tone of voice, body language, facial expressions and the intent conveyed through your words.
First introduced in 1952, by University of Wisconsin professor Scott M. Cutlip and Allen H. Center, the term 7 C’s of communication is globally used to list traits that help a person in mastering communication skills. These are:
- Clear – There has to be a clear goal, message or purpose to any communication
- Concise – Sticking to the point makes communication impactful and easy to follow
- Concrete – There has to be substance in your words and not just vague talk
- Correct – Things stated need to be factually correct
- Coherent – The communication has to be coherent and logical
- Courteous – One should avoid being boastful, insensitive or impolite in any conversation
- Complete – It is very important for business communication to be complete and deliver all the intended information
The four elements of interpersonal communication
Interpersonal communication has four different categories that are explained below:
Every time someone speaks or makes any audible sound, it constitutes verbal communication. The tone of voice plays an important role in the effectiveness of verbal communication. For instance, if you wish “good morning” in a feeble or tired tone, the impression on the other person would be different than a “Good Morning!” with a smile and greater energy.
There are times when people tend to fall into “hearing but not listening” mode. The difference here is that in ‘hearing’, you may or may not pay attention. However, when we are listening to someone, it implies that we are actively focusing on the words spoken and trying to understand them. Hearing is natural and continuous whereas listening needs focus.
- Written Communication
Any communication made in writing whether email, chat or other written documents such as blogs and reports, constitute written communication. It is the most widely accepted mode of business communication. In modern business communication, Emoji’s can be added to convey emotions and context to the receiver.
- Non-Verbal Communication
A shrug of the shoulder, smile or smirk is some of the forms of non-verbal communication that demonstrate a person’s interest, intent or suggestions in communication. One might just make gestures to communicate to another person during meetings or in a ‘silence’ zone.
Improving Communication Skills
Communication skills can be honed through active feedback i.e., the response you get for your communication. The feedback can convey whether the communication made the right impact or needs to be improvized upon.
Feedback is a constant process that can occur as a follow-up to the communication or even during the live interaction. For instance, when a speaker receives clap and cheering on stage is ‘live feedback’ whereas a note of thanks replied on email would is a feedback response to your communication.
By honing interpersonal communication, you can reduce the time spent on searching right information and enhance your productivity. From an organizational perspective, strong communication skills lead to superior customer retention, better customer satisfaction ratings and the evolution of a healthy work environment!