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© 2016 by Blue Zone Thinking. 

  • Ivan Nurick

7 Principles of Effective Communication


Having consulted to hundreds of businesses in more than 50 industries across the world, the one critical issue that is raised most often is communication. Communicating with others in an effective way is difficult because there are so many variables that come into play. There is the environment in which the communication takes place, the medium or technology used, the personal experiences, background, culture, attitudes, values and beliefs of the parties, not to mention the language, tone of voice, speed (the delivery of the message) and non-verbal cues.Notwithstanding all of these complexities, you can significantly improve the effectiveness with which you communicate with others by ensuring that you focus on and meet the requirements of 7 key principles for effective communication.
  1. Content

  • Is the content appropriate for the stakeholder group?

  • Does the message need to be customised for each stakeholder group?

  • Is this message for information only (one way) or for communication (two-way information exchange)?

  • Will the content achieve the communication objective?

  • Does the content meet the Why, Who, and What tests?

  1. Clarity

  • Is this message clear, simple and unambiguous?

  • Will everyone interpret the message in the same way?

  • Is the clarity index appropriate for the stakeholder group and channel?

  • Has the message been tested on each stakeholder group for content and clarity?

  • Does the message meet the Why, Who, and What tests?

  1. Channel

  • Is this communication relevant to the targeted audience?

  • Is this the best and most appropriate channel for this message?

  • Is the timing right for this communication?

  • Does this communication meet the When and Where tests?

  1. Concerns

  • Have we given everyone an opportunity to voice any concerns?

  • Have we adequately addressed all comments, criticisms or concerns?

  • Do we need to revise and reissue the message?

  • Is there sufficient message repetition?

  1. Contribution

  • Has this message made the intended contribution towards the overall project objectives?

  1. Confirmation

  • How do we know that the message has achieved what we intended it to achieve?

  1. Commitment

  • Does every stakeholder group feel that the communication was meant for them

  • Has everyone been touched and moved by the message (i.e. has the message touched their hearts)?

  • Has everyone accepted the logic and rationality of the message (i.e. has the message connected with their minds)?

  • Has everyone bought in and are they committed?

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