Watch What You Don’t Say!

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Communication is vital for every business. Communication to our teams and our customers are part of our daily leadership disciplines. The 5c’s of communication tell us that our communication needs to be:

  • Clear
  • Complete
  • Concise
  • Concrete
  • Correct

Communication is best one-on-one as it brings in all aspects of the communication process, the words we use, the tone of voice and our body language around it.

However we often relied on written communication to get our message across and this opens the danger of having the reader perceive or interpret the message. Now the message from the sender is open up to many things from the receiver such as:

  • Current state of mind
  • Perception of the relationship between sender and receiver.
  • Time of day
  • Outside incidents

The list is almost exhaustive. The sender loses control of the way the message is interpreted.

A case in point. The photo that accompanies this article. The following could be the message from the people reading the signs.

  1. They may be sympathetic to the owner for having to point out the no food sign . They may have worked in retail before, or been an owner of the business and feel the exasperation of the owner..
  2. Some may bemoan the need for public manners as there is obviously a need for the sign as people have obviously made a mess with food and drink.
  3. Some will take it as a challenge.
  4. Some will not see it and simply ignore.
  5. I see a shop keeper that thinks I am stupid and cannot read a sign hanging on the front door. And shows the way to the sign with a larger sign pointing the way.

And therein lies the danger. At least five different messages taken from the one piece  of written communication.

So watch out what you are not saying. The five C’s are still alive and kicking when it comes to written communication.

Tony Curl, is the founder of The Store Manager Club, a global mentoring program for retail leaders. Additionally he is a coach that helps his clients take the right steps and actions towards their desired outcomes and goals. He is the founder of Leadership, Life and Style and his programs build better leaders and drives better results for business owners and executives alike. He can be contacted from his webpage or by phoning +61 417 197 149


Tony Curl

Tony Curl

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