What are the six C’s in communication?

Communication is essential in all aspects of life. Effective communication leads to better understanding and improves relationships. When communicating, it is important to focus on the six C’s – clarity, conciseness, concreteness, correctness, coherence, and completeness.

1. Clarity

Clarity refers to being clear, articulate, and easy to understand. When communicating, it is vital to get your point across in a way that is straightforward and transparent. Unclear communication leads to confusion and misunderstanding. To improve clarity:

  • Use simple, direct language
  • Avoid technical jargon or complex vocabulary when possible
  • Be specific and concrete rather than vague or abstract
  • Structure your information in a logical, organized manner
  • Emphasize key points and restate important information
  • Check for understanding by asking questions

Clarity allows your audience to easily grasp your message and meaning.

2. Conciseness

Conciseness means using only the words necessary to convey your meaning. Effective communication eliminates wordiness and unnecessary details. To be more concise:

  • Avoid repetition and redundant phrases
  • Use brief but meaningful phrases
  • Prioritize key information
  • Remove excessive adjectives and adverbs
  • Use active voice rather than passive voice when possible
  • Avoid rambling or including irrelevant information

Being concise improves clarity and keeps your audience focused.

3. Concreteness

Concrete communication includes specific facts, figures, and details rather than broad generalizations. Concrete language helps paint a vivid, realistic picture for your audience. To add concreteness:

  • Use precise language – quantities, qualities, etc.
  • Avoid vague language like “stuff” or “things”
  • Include relevant data, statistics, examples, or anecdotes
  • Use sensory descriptions when appropriate
  • Provide specific actions for abstract concepts
  • Ground your ideas in tangible details and evidence

Concrete communication makes your message more memorable and easier to visualize.

4. Correctness

Correctness refers to language that follows accepted rules and guidelines. Errors in correctness include grammar, punctuation, word usage, spelling, and fact accuracy. To ensure correctness:

  • Proofread writing for grammatical errors
  • Double check unfamiliar words and verify definitions
  • Review punctuation usage, especially commas and apostrophes
  • Confirm spelling of common and proper nouns
  • Validate facts, statistics, and reference accuracy
  • Review formatting for consistency

Proper correctness gives your communication care and credibility.

5. Coherence

Coherence means that your communication holds together logically and remains focused. Coherent messages flow smoothly by connecting ideas in a natural order. To improve coherence:

  • Organize details and events chronologically if appropriate
  • Use transition words between ideas and paragraphs
  • Begin with your main theme and build upon it
  • Link paragraphs and sections with unifying concepts
  • Avoid jumping between unrelated topics
  • Repeat key terms and summarize main points

Coherence transforms disjointed information into a unified message.

6. Completeness

Complete communication provides adequate information and detail for the context. Incomplete messages risk misleading or confusing your audience. To ensure completeness:

  • Include background information needed for context
  • Define unfamiliar terms, acronyms, or abbreviations
  • Mention relevant details that support your message
  • Answer anticipated questions from your audience
  • Do not assume shared understanding – clarify when possible
  • Review if you included everything required for goals

Completeness supplies your audience with the breadth of information they need.


Applying the six C’s of communication leads to more successful and productive exchanges of information. Clarity, conciseness, concreteness, correctness, coherence, and completeness together build robust messages that accurately inform and engage audiences.

By consciously incorporating these elements, you can hone your communication abilities and connect with people on a deeper level. Effective communication directly improves relationships in both personal and professional realms.

Start evaluating your own communication using the six C’s as a guide. Identify areas for improvement and practice enhancing those skills. Communication takes dedication, but mastery will improve your interactions, productivity, and understanding.

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