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7 Principles of Communications

Engage your audiences

Business Communications is to deliver your ideas to your audiences and achieve the outcome you want. It requires concentration and energy to digest your message, so make your reader read with ease, instead of creating a resistance in your reader.

Before you begin writing or communicating, remind yourself:


I will keep my sentence short. use simple words. use direct and active sentence. Keep reader focus to my message - Important message should occupy 90% of full contents. Focus on key points and good flow. Not repeat my intention in different paragraphs.

Communications Goals

Seven Communication Principles


To compose effective message you need to apply certain specific communication principles.

They tie closely with the basic concepts of the communication process and are important for both written and oral communications called the Seven C.
Courtesy Conciseness Consideration Correctness Concreteness Completeness Clarity

Correctness
The correctness principle comprises more than proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
A message may be perfect grammatically and mechanically but still insult or lose a customer (internal & external) and fail to achieve its purpose. The term correctness, as applied to a business message, means the writer should:

Use the right level of language (When to be formal, tone, etc.) Include only accurate facts, words, and figures Maintain acceptable writing mechanics Choose nondiscriminatory expressions Apply all other pertinent C qualities

Use the Right Level of Language


Three levels of language: Formal, Informal and Sub-standard Formal Writing is often associated with scholarly writing Example: Doctoral dissertations, scholarly articles, legal documents, top-level government agreements and other material where formality in style is demanded. The style is not conversational, usually impersonal, and often contains long and involved sentences. Formal "Please inform me of the manner in which you intend to liquidate this balance.

Informal Pl. let me know when you plan to pay the outstanding balance of your account.

Check accuracy of figures, facts and words


It is impossible to convey the meaning precisely through words, from the head of the sender to a receiver. Our goal is to be as precise as possible which means checking and double checking to ensure that the figures. Facts and words you use are correct.

Verify

your statistical data. Double check your totals. Have someone else read your message if the topic involves data.

Maintain Acceptable Writing Mechanics

We are living in information age where computer and relating electronic gadgets are used to collect, store and edit information. Various software packages are available to make our editing tasks (grammar-check, spell-check and thesaurus) very easy, yet careful attention must be given to the mechanical part (Punctuation, Abbreviation, Numbering and Word Division) of every well-written document.

Choose nondiscriminatory expressions.

English language is constantly changing. In fact, even dictionaries can not keep up with the rapid change in English language but at the same time dictionary is still a major source for locating correct words and their intended meanings.

Completeness
Your business message is "complete" when it contains all facts the reader or listener needs to react to your desire outcome. Remember that communicators differ in their mental filters; they are influenced by their backgrounds, viewpoints, needs, attitudes, status, and emotions. Completeness is necessary for several reasons: Complete messages are more likely to bring the desired results without the expense of additional messages. Second, they can do a better job of building goodwill. Third, they can help avert costly lawsuits that may result if important information is missing.

As you strive for completeness, keep the following guidelines in mind: Answer all questions asked. Give something extra, when desirable. Check for the five W's and any other essentials.

Answer all the questions asked.


Make sure you provide all the information the reader needs for thorough accurate understanding. One way to help make your message complete is to answer the five W questions what, when, where, who, why and any other essentials, such as how. The five question method is especially useful when you write requests, proclamation, or other informative message Example1 To order (request) merchandise make clear what u want, when u need it, t o whom and where it is to be sent and how payment will be made. Example 2 To reserve a hotel room, specify the accommodation needed (what), loca tion (where), sponsoring organization (who), date and time (when), event ( why) and other necessary details (how)

Give some extra, when desirable


Sometimes you must do more than answer the customers specific questions. Sometimes customers may not know what they need, or their questions may be inadequate. SOMETHING EXTRA is always appreciated and always explain why you are Including the additional information

Example
Imagine you are CEO of a Sports Club and receive the following inquiry from an out-of-town member: Im new to the city and would like to consider joining your club. As I will be visiting your club within the month, will you please tell me where the next meeting will be held.

What will be your response?

Completeness: Think Who, What, Where, When, Why


Who you want to communicate with (Superior, Subordinates, Customers , etc)? Know your target audiences and set your tone right and say the right things (Dont say the unnecessary things). What you want him/her to do and what you want to achieve? Focus on the objective and key points and make sure what you want to achieve is clear without guessing.

Where to put your ideas and instructions (The Flow)? Good flow allows reader to progressively understand your ideas at ease and will act upon your message quickly.
When should you deliver the information? Deliver at the right time, not at the wrong time, will have better results. How to achieve your objective? If you have to ask your reader to perform certain tasks, then state clearly the steps to achieve that. If your instructions, is not clear, you will not get your things done or the way you want in the shortest time.

Communications is key to productivity. Are you productive? Are you able to get things done quickly without to and fro

Courtesy Courteous messages help to strengthen present business friendships, as well as make new friends. Courtesy stems from sincere you-attitude. It is not merely politeness with mechanical insertions of please' and thankyou.

To be courteous, considerate communicators should follow these suggestions regarding tone of the communications.
Be sincerely tactful, thoughtful, and appreciative. Omit expressions that irritate, hurt, or belittle. Choose Bias-free language/expression

Be sincerely tactful, thoughtful, and appreciative. Be sincerely tactful and dont be abrupt or blunt as these negative traits are a common cause of discourtesy. Sometimes they stem from a mistaken idea of conciseness, sometimes from negative personal attitudes, sometimes from not knowing the culture of a country or even group of people Examples Tactless vs. Tactful.
Stupid letters; I did not understand any of it Its my understanding . . .

Clearly, you did not read my latest fax Sometimes my wording is not precise; let me try again.
I rewrote that letter three times; the point was clear Im sorry the point was not clear; here is another version.

OMIT EXPRESSIONS THAT IRRITATE, HURT, OR BELITTLE


The thoughtful business communicator should avoid expressions that might offend the reader. Such expressions are discussed here in three groups: irritating, questionably humorous, and belittling statements.

IRRITATING EXPRESSIONS
I do not agree with you Inexcusable Irresponsible Why have you ignored The fact that You claim that You did not tell us You failed to You forgot to

Your stubborn silence

Bias-free language/expression

Aint Aim at proving Possessed with ability Comply to In accordance to Should of Irregardless Cant hardly In search for Listen at Superior than Equally as bad

isnt; arent aim to prove Possessed of ability Comply with In accordance with should have regardless can hardly In search of Listen to Superior to Equally bad

Consideration
Consideration means that you prepare every message with the recipient in mind and try to put yourself in his or her place. Try to visualize your readers (or listeners)with their desires, problems, circumstances, emotions, and probable reactions to your request. Then handle the matter from their point of view. This thoughtful consideration is also called you-attitude empathy, the human touch, and understanding of human nature. (It does not mean, however, that you should overlook the needs of your organization) In a broad but true sense, consideration underlies the other six C's of good business communication. You adapt your language and message content to your receiver's needs when you make your message complete, concise, concrete, clear, courteous, and correct. However, in three specific ways you can indicate you are considerate: Use the you-attitude. Emphasize positive, pleasant facts. Avoid words with negative connotations.

Use the You-Attitude:


The you-attitude is a sincere concern for the reader or listener. It is the positive r ather than negative approach. It promotes understanding, avoids antagonism and increases message effectiveness. It includes the desire to serve and to Understand the readers or listener's point of view. The opposite concept is the I-attitude ( or I-approach). We-Attitude We are shipping your goods today. I am really excited about your promotion. You-Attitude Your goods will be shipped today.

Congratulations on being promoted

Emphasize Positive Pleasant Facts


Positive and pleasant words are more effective than unpleasant ones. Therefore avoid extremely negative words such as failed, fault, regret, sorry, blame and similar words. Negative-Unpleasant I cannot attend the meeting today. The item you ordered is not in stock. You will never regret using our bank Positive-Pleasant I will be available to meet tomorrow.

We will fill your order on march 10.

You will benefit from our many banking services.

Avoid words with negative connotations

Possible offensive Died Bawled out

Inoffensive Passed away Reprimanded

Used cars
Toilet paper

Resale cars
Bathroom tissue

Peon

Attendant

Clarity
Clarity means getting your message across so the receiver will understand what you are trying to convey. You want that person to interpret your words with the same meaning you have in mind.

Accomplishing that goal is difficult because, as you know, individual experiences are never identical, and words have different meanings to different persons.
Here are some specific ways to help make your messages clear:

1. Choose precise, concrete, familiar words.


2. Construct effective sentences and paragraphs.

Choose Precise, Concrete and Familiar words


Make your message clear by using familiar, concrete, simple, easy and conversational words. When you have choice between a long word and a short one, use the short, familiar word that your reader or listener will quickly understand. Familiar resign arrest hope start Pretentious abdicate apprehend expectancy initiate

Construct Effective Sentence and Paragraphs

At the core of clarity is the sentence. This is grammatical statement, when clearly expressed, moves thoughts within paragraph. Important is to consider length, unity , emphasis and paragraph.

Complete sentence will have at least 2 words ( a subject and a verb). Short sentences will average 15 to 20 words. Long sentences are 30 words or longer.

Unity
Sentence unity means that communicates main idea-one thought. At times you may also want to include ideas that support the main idea. The general rule, however, is one thought , one sentence.

Lacks unity
It is easy for you to do your Eid shopping, and we offer three unique catalogs.

Has unity
Because we offer three unique catalogs, it is easy for you to do .your Eid shopping

Concreteness

Communicating concretely means being specific, definite, and vivid


rather than vague and general. The following guidelines should help you compose concrete, convincing messages: Use specific facts and figures. Put action in your verbs. Choose vivid, image-building words

If you want to be put in vague and general messages, its better to omit it altogether! Wasting your readers time is the Last thing you want in communications.

Conciseness
A concise message saves time and expense for both sender and receiver. Conciseness is saying what you have to say in the fewest possible words without sacrificing the other C qualities. Conciseness contributes to emphasis. By eliminating unnecessary words, you help make important ideas stand out. To achieve conciseness, try to observe the following suggestions:

Eliminate wordy expressions. Omit unnecessary explanations. Avoid unnecessary repetition.

Eliminate wordy expressions.


WORDY CONCISE

During the time that In accordance with In view of the fact that Please dont hesitate to write Under the circumstances In due course In most cases

While As you because please write because soon usually

Omit unnecessary explanations


The effective, concise message should omit not only unnecessarily wordy expressions but also irrelevant material. To be sure you

include only relevant facts, observe the following suggestions:


Stick to the purpose of the message. Avoid irrelevant words and rambling (confused) sentences.

Avoid unnecessary repetition.


Sometimes repetition is necessary for emphasis. But when the same thing is said two or three times without reason, the message

becomes wordy and boring. Here are three ways to eliminate


unnecessary repetition. Use a shorter name, after you have mentioned the long one/complete name. Instead of Electronics Product Manufacturing Company, just use Electronics Company.

Eliminate wordy Expressions


Some words and combinations of words have more efficient, one-word equivalents. Here are some combinations to avoid.

Wordy at this time in the amount of with the exception in the near future

Concise now for except soon

Omit Unnecessary Explanations

Wordy I met the accountant on only Occasion. The speaker who is giving the keynote address belongs to Multan. He went to the market for the purpose of buying goods. There is something I have to tell you.

Concise I met the accountant once

The keynote speaker belongs to Multan. He went to market to buy goods.

I need to tell you something.

Avoid unnecessary repetition


Sometimes repetition is necessary for emphasis. But when the same thing is repeated without reason, the message becomes wordy and boring. Therefore, try to eliminate unnecessary repetition.

Use a short name after you have mentioned the long one once. Instead of the united States of America, use the U.S.
Use pronouns or initials rather than repeat long names. Instead of citing National Accountability Bureau again and again, use it NAB. When using well known initials or acronyms, give the full reference first.

Limit use of the passive voice


The active voice is more direct, stronger and more vigorous than the passive voice. The active voice usually requires fewer words and result in shorter, more undesirable sentences. Wordy The audit was performed by a local med the company. The total balance due will be found on ge 3 of page 3 of this monthly statement. statement. Concise A local company perfor audit. The balance due is on pa this monthly expenditure