In this blog, we will focus on the principles of business communication with real examples. In addition to the 7C’s of business communication and their importance in business. The article further talks about the importance, types, and barrier to business communication.
What is business communication?
Business communication refers to the exchange of verbal and non-verbal information between individuals. The objective of business communication is to ensure that messages are conveyed clearly and effectively, both internally and externally, in order to achieve the desired outcomes.
Effective business communication helps in building better relationships and stronger networks in the world of business.
In a business, communication may be internal and external. Internal communication implies communication between employees and superiors.
External communication occurs when members of an organization communicate with outside parties such as vendors, distributors, customers, other businesses, etc.
To know more check out our detailed guide on: What is business communication: Nature, types & examples
10 Principles of Business Communication
For effective communication in an organization, the following basic principles of business communication must be followed:
1) Clarity of message: The objective of business communication is to deliver messages which are clear to understand. The information presented should not be vague and poorly formulated.
2) Two-Way Channel: It takes a sender and a receiver for effective communication. The receiver must provide the sender feedback about the information and vice versa. Feedback in communication helps in completing the communication process which can lead to further action.
3) Reliability: The audience must have confidence in the sender of the information to consider the message credible. This is done by building a good reputation and trustworthiness in the eyes of the receiver.
4) Speed: The process of business communication cannot afford to be time-consuming. For effective communication in a commercial organization, good communication systems and business communication software are established to ensure the prompt delivery of messages.
5) Relevance of content: The receiver should be able to relate to the message and find it compatible with their viewpoints. This helps in increasing the likelihood of them responding favorably.
6) Accuracy: The accuracy of information is vital to the credibility of a business communication topic. The source must ensure only relevant and factual data is included in the message.
7) Complete information: Incomplete information causes delays in decision-making and doubts in the mind of the receiver. The sender must ensure the information transmitted is complete and answer all relevant questions.
8) Capability: The very nature of communication is to deliver a message and be understood by the receiver. The sender must consider the intellectual level, reading ability, and capability of the audience.
9) Secrecy: An important principle of effective business communication is to preserve the integrity of confidential information. It must be ensured there are no leaks of information.
10) Economy: For a communication system to be efficient, it must also be economical without compromising on effectiveness.
7 C’s of Business Communication
The principle of communication is to transmit information in an understandable and effective manner. To ensure this, a set of principles for effective communication are implemented.
They are also known as the 7 C’s of communication. They are:
1) Completeness: This is one of the core characteristics of a transmitted message. The information presented should be complete and factual. The sender must provide all the necessary information required without any gaps. It must answer the 5 W’s related to the message:
Transmitting complete information helps in building a good reputation and trust from the target audience. Complete communication is vital in making better decisions and forming effective strategies.
Example of completeness
We will have our daily stand-up call tomorrow. Please be well-prepared and punctual.
See you there
Why is this a bad example?
As soon as the reader read this message, he will be in a confusing situation. There is a clear lack of information shown which makes the message incomplete.
The message commands us to be prepared but does say Why? and for What?
Moreover, there is no time mentioned in the message, how can a team be punctual?
We will have our daily stand-up call to discuss our current go-to-market strategy. Everyone should be prepared with their input. The status call will start tomorrow morning at 11 am. The google meet link will be shared with you in your email.
See you there
Why is this a good example?
The message clearly states the purpose of the stand-up call, includes instruction, as well as includes the timing and venue of the meeting. This lets the reader with no confusion after it.
2) Conciseness: “Time is money” is a commonly used adage related to a business. In business communication, a concise message is time-saving and easier to understand.
For effective communication, the sender must deliver their message in a way that eliminates unnecessary repetition, lengthy explanations, and irrelevant data.
Example of Conciseness
I wanted to share some of the updated hacks on SEO best practices for 2023. Specifically, I wanted to talk about this new keyword research tool, that helps you get trending keywords with low competition.
We can start using this tool in our keyword research process for increasing our traffic. I have also got a 5-month free trial so that we can make the best use of it.
Waiting for your reply
Why is this a bad example?
The message is so broad and stretched towards a new keyword research tool. It talks about the keyword research process which is an unnecessary add-on to the message and makes it too lengthy.
I wanted to share some of the updated hacks on SEO best practices for 2023. Specifically, the new keyword research tool that I have found. I will attach the link to it in the below thread, do check it out.
Waiting for your reply
Why is the above example good?
The message is to the point and concise. I do not take the reader to the details that can be easily found in the tool guide for the user.
3) Courtesy: In both general communication and business communication, the sender must take into consideration who the receiver is. The perspectives of the audience and their feelings are taken into account.
This is done by presenting the information in a polite and courteous tone. This helps in building goodwill and stronger public esteem for a business.
Example of Courtesy
I am writing this email to let you know that my team will be taking over the current project and would not require any input from your team from now onwards.
I appreciate your work till now but I would insist you hand over all the data to my team. Can we get this done by next week?
Why is the above example bad?
The message clearly doesn’t sound courteous, it sounds like Matt is clearly not happy with Vergine teams involvement. And would like to handle the project solo with the team.
I would like to thank your team for taking initiative in our ongoing project. Your team input is really helpful, however, I would request that we can spare a few minutes to take inputs from my team as well. This will create better brainstorming during our planning stage.
I would like to seek your thoughts on this.
Waiting for your reply
Why is this a good example?
The message clearly sounds courteous as Josh is showing his appreciation for Nick’s team. However, he is also putting his point of involving his team’s input and asking for the same.
4) Clarity: The principle of clarity in business communication is an important pillar of communication. The information transmitted must be clear and accurate.
Whether a receiver is reading the message or hearing it, they should be able to easily understand what the source is trying to convey. This is done by using familiar and easy words.
Example of Clarity
Hello Sam, I would like to put in some words for KoKo while writing a mail to you. Who recently joined your department? Must say, he is the real deal, and our team wants to talk more with you regarding Koko when you are free.
Why this is a bad example:
Well first of all it is not clear why Mike wants to send an email about Koko. Second, there is no precise information about the Koko designation.
Also, there is no explanation about why KoKo is a real deal to Sam. More information is needed here to explain this bold statement.
Moreover, why would Mike’s team want to talk about Koko in the first place? The above mail is too confusing and lacks crucial information.
Hello Sam, I would like to put in some words for KoKo in this email to you, who’s working in your marketing department. last quarter he helped our digital marketing (specifically SEO) department with immense results.
Adding to it, due to high client demand we need to rush our digital marketing campaign, and his input would count a lot for us.
Will it be possible for him to run through our SEO campaigns once again? Our SEO team would like to talk with you regarding the same. Let us know the best time to connect.
Waiting for your reply.
Thanks & regards
Why is this a good example?
The later message is much more informative, with a clear stating purpose to contact. Keeping the reader with no confusion.
5) Concreteness: One of the seven C’s of communication is the concreteness of information. This implies the message is specific and accurate. Avoid using abstract words and complicated phrases.
In business writing, the information must be written in a non-generic and non-vague manner. This helps the reader to easily understand the message, thus building more trust and a good reputation for the business.
Example of Concreteness
Let’s take an example of a sales copy written by a marketing agency.
This smartwatch will be very useful for your new collection.
Would you believe that a watch can help you get fitter than you already are? No right!
Check out our new advanced smartwatch with a calorie-tracking feature. Now maintaining your health is just as easy as checking time.
Why the later copy is a good example?
The later copy explains the reason behind pursuing the watch. The buyers can imagine themselves tracking their calories every day for better health tracking. The copy also states the fact that it’s an advanced smartwatch.
6) Correctness: One of the core principles of written communication is correct spelling and proper grammar. This also relates to a written message being correct mechanically.
The writer must ensure the content is up to par and easy to understand. In addition, the message must be correct in terms of its accuracy and the facts presented in it.
Exmaple of Correctness
We just wanted to take a sec to share our feelings with you and let you now how proud we are of Max’s performance. He has been an incredible esset to the company and we want you know that we think highly of him.
Why it is a bad example?
Have you noticed any typo errors while reading the above message? If not then read it once again. If you notice closely then Lara has actually written: “Sec” instead of writing “Second”, which is incorrect.
Also in the phrase “Let you now”, Lara has used “now” instead of “Know”. It seems the message was written in a hurry which lacks correctness.
We know that it’s not easy balancing the demands of home with work, and we want you to know that we appreciate all the accommodation you have made to support Kane during his professional opportunity.
Why is this a good example?
The message is clear with no grammatical or spellings error.
7) Consideration: In any form of business communication, the interests and intentions of the receiver must be prioritized. Using more “we” and “you” statements instead of “I” shows the receiver their viewpoints are considered.
The sender must consider the receiver’s background, education level, and interests before delivering the message. This helps in building a stronger relationship and trustworthiness.
Examle of Consideration
You have done brilliant work on Kyle’s SEO project and we just wanted to take a second to share our feelings with you and let you know how proud we are of your performance. Therefore we are glad to announce that we have promoted you to Sr. SEO effective immediately from today onwards.
Source for all the examples drafted.
Why ‘7 C’s of Communication’ are important in a business
The function of business communication is to effectively exchange messages to ensure the optimal running of a company.
This is achieved by following a set of guidelines. The 7 C’s of communication help in identifying communication gaps and improving the quality of all communication channels.
A strong communication system allows:
- Network building
- Boosts enthusiasm and employee morale
- Good decision making
- Increases lead and buy rate
- Build a good reputation and trust
- Improving business communication skills
Principles of effective communication:
1. Principles of clarity: Across all mediums of communication, clarity in the message is the key to effective communication. The message should be drafted with clear thoughts keeping in mind the strength of the receiver. Cluttered and incomplete communication can create confusion between the sender and receiver.
2. Principles of objectives: Objectivity in communication should be clear before drafting the message. The message should address the key areas, keeping in mind the understanding level of the receiver on the other end. Make sure you are not adding any irrelevant information to the message that might confuse the receiver. The objective of the message will be achieved when the message is understood by all the stakeholders involved.
3. Principles of knowing your audience: One of the most important principles of communication is knowing your target audience. It helps us to formulate our message according to the receiver’s acceptance level. Elements such as the depth of your message tone of writing, and choice of medium will also depend on how much aware your audience is regarding your topic of communication.
4. Principles of proper medium: The choice of communication medium will depend on factors such as who’s your target audience, the urgency of the message, the receiver’s understanding level, etc. It is beneficial to use an oral communication medium when the message is not lengthy in nature whereas written communication can be beneficial when the message involves deeper understanding with a structured format.
5. Principles of timeliness: The following principles value the timing of communication and information. Therefore it is important to have the right information at the right time to make an effective decision. The delay in communication can cost ineffective decision-making and financial constraints.
6. Principles of feedback: Getting feedback in communication is important, it helps the sender to know whether the information is perceived in a manner they want. The principle of feedback completes the cycle of communication and creates the next course of action.
7. Principles of active listening: In order to communicate well you need to focus on your listening skills. Paying attention to the speaker without interrupting helps in better clarity and understanding of the message. The receiver should first listen carefully and let the sender complete his talk before replying. On the other hand, the sender should also give chance to the person listening to communicate and clear any doubt he has during the conversation.
Importance of Communication in Business
The significance of business communication can be highlighted with the following:
- Helps in planning: A good communication system allows the business to make better plans by obtaining necessary information from internal and external elements. Implementation of plans occurs through communicating them to the employees.
- Boosts motivation at work: Through communication, managers can understand their subordinates better. This information is used to create a better working environment for the employees, thus boosting their enthusiasm to work.
- Coordination: An effective communication system is vital to having strong coordination between teams to carry out tasks and goals with promising results. This is the key to the success of any organization.
- Builds a good reputation: A business that adopts effective measures to communicate internally and externally builds a good reputation with employees, investors, distributors, customers, other businesses, etc.
- Problem-Solving: Problems and issues arise in any company. A business with a proficient communication system in place can quickly identify and eliminate potential problems and mishaps.
Must Read: Check out our detailed article on importance of business communication
Types of Business Communication
There are mainly two types of communication in business. They are:
1) Internal Communication: The flow of information in this type of communication is restricted to the members of the company. It is done in the following ways:
- Upward Communication: Communication follows the hierarchy or chain of command. Communication from lower to higher levels of hierarchy refers to upward communication.
Related Reading: Upward Communication: Advantages & Disadvantages With Examples
- Downward Communication: In this communication pattern, information flows from higher levels to lower levels is known as downward communication. For example, a superior gives instructions to a subordinate.
- Horizontal Communication: Also known as lateral communication, this covers communication between employees at the same level in an organization.
- Diagonal Flow: Sometimes a manager of a department may communicate with the employees of another department. This is known as diagonal communication.
2) External Communication: External communication relates to the interactions the members of a company have with outside parties. This can be in the form of interactions with suppliers, distributors, clients, customers, executives from other companies, etc.
Barriers of Communication
Barriers are inconvenient obstacles that disrupt the line of communication. The nature of setbacks can be physical, linguistic, emotional, psychological, etc. They are:
- Physical Barriers: Physical barriers include obstacles such as poor weather conditions, noisy working environment, ill physical health of employees, faulty equipment, environmental disasters, etc.
- Linguistic Barriers: Language barriers are common communication obstacles. Sharing a common language makes communication easy and relatable.
- Psychological Barriers: Some psychological barriers in communication may include opposing viewpoints among individuals, speech disorders, phobias, depression, etc.
- Emotional Barriers: An effective communicator must be mature and skilled at managing emotional barriers in communication, remaining in control of their moods and emotions while engaging with others.
- Organizational barriers: Organizational barriers refer to structural or procedural factors within an organization that delays effective communication. These barriers can include hierarchical structures, excessive bureaucracy, lack of transparency, and poor communication channels. Communication barriers in business can create obstacles that slow down the smooth flow of communication, resulting in delays and a lack of collaboration.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. What are the elements of communication?
Ans: The elements of communication include a sender, encoding, message, channel, receiver, decoding, response, feedback, and noise.
Q2. What are the 4 principles of communication?
Ans. The 4 principles of communication are clarity of the message, accuracy of the information, having two-way communication, and completeness of the information.
Q3. Which of the following is not a principle of communication?
Ans. Downward communication is not a principle of communication. It is a type of internal business communication.