The 7Cs of Effective Communication

I am a big fan of themes! If you have been reading my blog and newsletters for a while now, you will notice that I like to use acronyms, abbreviations, and cute ways to remember things. This is due to my need and dare I say ability to take detailed information from various sources and condense it into an easy way to remember, so that I can use it when I need it. Today we are travelling the 7Cs of effective communication.

Control – Control yourself, your body language, pace, tone, etc., and control the audience or listener. Control the topic and avoid big digressions, control your emotions, control the venue if possible so as to be in a comfortable area and room.

Conversational – do not lecture, do not whine, and do not get angry or over-emotional. Have a conversation. No matter what the other person or people do in a meeting, negotiation, when a customer is complaining, etc. keep control and keep it conversational. This means back and forth, active listening, and not getting over-emotional for no good reason. Do not get sucked into an argument that will harm your image later.

Confident – people are less likely to challenge you and more likely to follow you if you present yourself with confidence. Your voice should be loud enough and at a controlled pace, your body language should be strong (not stiff) with a straight back, meaningful gestures, great eye contact, etc. And the content of your speech or presentation or point to be made should also come from a confident place, i.e. you know what you are talking about! Do not think that BS will work all the time with everyone. When you have researched and prepared well, you feel confident, and you can let that shine through!

Competent – you have to back it up. Whatever you are saying or selling, be not only prepared but also able to back it up. You must be good at what you are suggesting others follow you on as well, if you are seeking a leadership role. Why should I listen to you? Answer that question before you meet the group.

Calm – If you start calm, you are more likely to both calm down others (if agitated) and to continue to communicate calmly. Control your breathing, pace, volume, etc. in a relaxed way. Use rhythmic gestures as well. Nothing fast and darting. Think Yoga movements!

Clear – Do not beat around the bush. State exactly what you want people to do, or why they should follow you. Don’t let people guess your meaning. State clearly your objectives or desires, and people will respect you for your leadership and ideas. Please still include the 3Ps (Polite, Professional, Positive) when you deliver your message though.

Concise – Do not waste valuable time. Say what you have to say and ask what you need from your listener or team, and then let them go. When giving suggestions, advice or orders, give them with appropriate details delivered in a short, concise way.

I hope that you have learned how to use the 7Cs and can start implementing them today in your personal and professional communications. Any questions? Please do not hesitate to get in touch with me. Thank you.


Canada's 1st Communication Coach - TEDx Speaker - 3V COMMUNICATIONS Founder/ Coach/Trainer - YEDI Program Advisor/Instructor - NCCA Founder/Executive Director - BJJ blue belt - Trekkie forever! 
I've been blogging about interpersonal and business communication skills, public speaking, body language, ESL issues etc. since 2006.  Here's my popular blog, and my recent TEDx Talk "The Long Life of First Impressions."

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Have a question for Ric?

9th December 2015 5:03am
Hi! I really want to use the 7 C of Effective communication as a part of my bachelor thesis source. Did you came up with these points? Can I use this article as a source? Thank you and looking forward to hear from you!
Ric Phillips
9th December 2015 7:11pm
Hi Illona,
I did come up with these 7 Cs by myself, although I have noticed other authors using the same title with different 'C' words. I am happy for you to use my work in your thesis. Just site the work correctly. :) Thanks!

Vassilios Assimacopoulos
3rd April 2017 4:45pm
Hi! I would also like to use the model on my thesis. I was wondering how I can site and source it correctly?

Ric Phillips
4th April 2017 8:15am
Thanks Vassilios! You can site me as the author (Ric Phillips, Communication Coach, Founder of 3V Communications Ltd.) and you can site this weblink ( where you found the article.

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