KE SARA, SARA, what ever will be, will be …

{March 17, 2008}   Effective Communication

Ten Commandments Of Effective Communication

Communication can be defined as the two-way meaningful exchange of ideas, emotions, information, attitudes and, most importantly, experiences.

In this world, everyone needs to communicate. Communication is central to human existence. One starts to communicate right after birth and a child’s first cry is, perhaps, the most sought after communication. It is now well known that verbal as well as written forms of communication are but just a small percentage of the overall process and hence non-verbal communication (gestures, postures, looks, deportment, etc.) assumes greater importance. However, both are inter-related and often performed simultaneously. Also, both can be taught as well as learnt.

To make this complex yet critically important subject easy to comprehend and to make the process of communication, particularly verbal communication, more effective, ten easy to recall (user-friendly) words of day-to-day English, all starting with the letter ‘C’, have been adopted by the authors and called the Ten Commandments of Effective Communication. The readers will also come across several other commonly used words in English language, again starting with the letter ‘C’, during the course of reading this piece and elsewhere and many of you may also recall several such words which complement/supplement our Ten Commandments. Thus, the ten commandments propounded here are not the last word. Readers are advised to change, exchange, interchange these with those which suit the occasion and/or their style. The only being advocated cardinal rule here is to use only those words that begin with the letter ‘C’ for convenience and comfort.


1. CLEARLY: Whatever may be the content, unless it is delivered in a clear voice, will be an exercise in futility. The golden rule is to avoid grunts, huffs, etc. Rehearsals as well as role play helps. Use of natural accent of the speaker further adds to the clarity. (It is advisable not to assume a foreign one as then the focus is more on accent than on content). Vary tone/tenor, pitch and volume, as required by situation, to add more punch to the message you wish to convey. Avoid mumble and jumbles.

2. COHERENTLY: Besides clarity, coherent delivery of the message is perhaps as important. The cardinal rule here is to express yourself rationally & logically and, if possible, fluently. Command over the language to be used is an asset and hence in the beginning itself clarify the mode of communication to be employed . Coherence helps in making the process of communication smooth.

3. CORRECTLY: This is most important, particularly if your message includes data, figures, coordinates, etc. It is always better if you carry consult prepared notes. Thus, homework is vital. Of course, for the rest of the text/content, use appropriate words, phrases, etc. Again, as stated above, communication could be perhaps in vernacular, if not well versed with foreign language; even English.

4. CONCISELY: In most of the communication, it is always advisable to cut the bull and come straight to the point. Avoid beating about the bush. Even a humorous piece loses its punch if it is too long or has too many interruptions. To start with, define the subject clearly, albeit in brief. If possible, give a summary of what you wish to convey so that everyone remains focused on the main theme.

5. CRISPLY: If first four ‘Cs’ are followed in tandem, it becomes apparent to communicate crisply thus saving on time, effort and perhaps, money. Command over vocabulary and judicious use of phrases, helps. Crisp communiqués carry more punch and are more effective. You do not have to be curt to be crisp. Be cordial instead.

6. CREDIBLY: Credibility of the communication should be beyond doubt and it is almost synonymous to correct & coherent communication. Wherever factual information is to be conveyed and use of statistics & data is unavoidable, quote reference(s). If necessary, back-up material should be available to help you carry the day in case the credibility is in question.

7. CONVINCINGLY: Any communication can become convincing if it is delivered with a smattering of examples, case studies, experiences, role plays, etc. These should be backed up with references to establish credibility. Clarity of purpose and sincerity of the one delivering the communication apparently add to making the communication more acceptable. Hence practice it before-hand, whenever you can.

8. CONCLUSIVELY: Conclusive here also means all-inclusive. It is better to re-cap the entire communication towards the end, of course in brief. This helps in zeroing on to the vital, critical issues in the communication. As mentioned above, clear definition of the subject or the purpose of the entire process aids in concluding properly.

9. COMPLETELY: An effective communication must have a well defined ending, linked to subject. You can gauge the level of all the ‘C’s mentioned above by asking for a feedback. There are several ways to check completion and the easiest is to ask if the message had reached the audience. Structured questionnaires are sometimes used for this purpose, particularly if the communication is to be used further.

10. COST-EFFECTIVELY: This dimension has not even been touched upon in most of the material available on effective communication. In today’s world, however, it has assumed critical importance. It is not easy to make instant cost-benefit analysis of most communications but it is possible to have a fairly good idea. Of course, for any communication to be fruitful, benefits accrued should be more than cost involved. This is particularly true for lectures, training, interactions, etc. for which one has to pay to attend. In addition, your Communication should preferably be either Contemporary or Classic depending on the receiver’s background and also on the ambience. For example, to a young generation next audience, a Contemporary (chic) style and delivery will perhaps be more in order while a group of freedom fighters who took part in India’s struggle for independence would appreciate the Classic approach. Here, Creativity could play a crucial role. One need to be imaginative and a judicious mix of both these modes may help the sender to carry the day, particularly if the audience consists of a mixed bag. However, try and avoid use of clichés and too much jargon.

Obviously, for communication to be effective, it must lead to a mutually acceptable and/or logical conclusion. This also bring about another critical aspect, and that is of Continuity. Thus even though one feels that the communication is complete, it is perhaps only the current phase that is concluded and that too for the time being. The process of Communication is very much on all the time if connectivity of the sender and receiver is ON.


{October 21, 2007}   10 Essential Health Tips

10 Essential Health Tips

(The Basics to Practice Every Day)

“He who has health has hope, and he who has hope has everything.” –Arabian Proverb


1. Move More

Make it a daily challenge to find ways to move your body. Climb stairs if given a choice between that and escalators or elevators. Walk your dog; chase your kids; toss balls with friends, mow the lawn. Anything that moves your limbs is not only a fitness tool, it’s a stress buster. Think ‘move’ in small increments of time. It doesn’t have to be an hour in the gym or a 45-minute aerobic dance class or tai chi or kickboxing. But that’s great when you’re up to it. Meanwhile, move more. Thought for the day: Cha, Cha, Cha…. Then do it!

2. Cut Fat

Avoid the obvious such as fried foods, burgers and other fatty meats (i.e. pork, bacon, ham, salami, ribs and sausage). Dairy products such as cheese, cottage cheese, milk and cream should be eaten in low fat versions. Nuts and sandwich meats, mayonnaise, margarine, butter and sauces should be eaten in limited amounts. Most are available in lower fat versions such as substitute butter, fat free cheeses and mayonnaise. Thought for the day: Lean, mean, fat-burning machine…. Then be one!


3. Quit Smoking 

The jury is definitely in on this verdict. Ever since 1960 when the Surgeon General announced that smoking was harmful to your health, Americans have been reducing their use of tobacco products that kill. Just recently, we’ve seen a surge in smoking in adolescents and teens. Could it be the Hollywood influence? It seems the stars in every movie of late smoke cigarettes. Beware. Warn your children of the false romance or ‘tough guy’ stance of Hollywood smokers. Thought for the day: Give up just one cigarette…. the next one.

4. Reduce Stress 

Easier said than done, stress busters come in many forms. Some techniques recommended by experts are to think positive thoughts. Spend 30 minutes a day doing something you like. (i.e.,Soak in a hot tub; walk on the beach or in a park; read a good book; visit a friend; play with your dog; listen to soothing music; watch a funny movie. Get a massage, a facial or a haircut. Meditate. Count to ten before losing your temper or getting aggravated. Avoid difficult people when possible. Thought for the day: When seeing red, think pink clouds….then float on them.

5. Protect Yourself from Pollution

If you can’t live in a smog-free environment, at least avoid smoke-filled rooms, high traffic areas, breathing in highway fumes and exercising near busy thoroughfares. Exercise outside when the smog rating is low. Exercise indoors in air conditioning when air quality is good. Plant lots of shrubbery in your yard. It’s a good pollution and dirt from the street deterrent. Thought for the day: ‘Smoke gets in your eyes’…and your mouth, and your nose and your lungs as do pollutants….hum the tune daily.

6. Wear Your Seat Belt

Statistics show that seat belts add to longevity and help alleviate potential injuries in car crashes. Thought for the day: Buckle down and buckle up.

7. Floss Your Teeth

Recent studies make a direct connection between longevity and teeth flossing. Nobody knows exactly why. Perhaps it’s because people who floss tend to be more health conscious than people who don’t? Thought for the day: Floss and be your body’s boss.

8. Avoid Excessive Drinking 

While recent studies show a glass of wine or one drink a day (two for men) can help protect against heart disease, more than that can cause other health problems such as liver and kidney disease and cancer. Thought for the day: A jug of wine should last a long time.

9. Keep a Positive Mental Outlook 

There’s a definitive connection between living well and healthfully and having a cheerful outlook on life. Thought for the day: You can’t be unhappy when you’re smiling or singing. 

10. Choose Your Parents Well 

The link between genetics and health is a powerful one. But just because one or both of your parents died young in ill health doesn’t mean you cannot counteract the genetic pool handed you. Thought for the day: Follow these basic tips for healthy living and you can better control your own destiny.

A cab driver taught me a million dollar lesson in customer satisfaction and expectation. Motivational speakers charge thousands of dollars to impart his kind of training to corporate executives and staff. It cost me a $12 taxi ride.

I had flown into Dallas for the sole purpose of calling on a client. Time was of the essence and my plan included a quick turnaround trip from and back to the airport. A spotless cab pulled up.

The driver rushed to open the passenger door for me and made sure I was comfortably seated before he closed the door. As he got in the driver’s seat, he mentioned that the neatly folded Wall Street Journal next to me for my use. He then showed me several tapes and asked me what type of music I would enjoy.

Well! I looked around for a “Candid Camera!” Wouldn’t you? I could not believe the service I was receiving! I took the opportunity to say, “Obviously you take great pride in your work. You must have a story to tell.”

“You bet,” he replied, “I used to be in Corporate America. But I got tired of thinking my best would never be good enough. I decided to find my niche in life where I could feel proud of being the best I could be.

I knew I would never be a rocket scientist, but I love driving cars, being of service and feeling like I have done a full day’s work and done it well. I evaluate my personal assets and… wham! I became a cab driver.

One thing I know for sure, to be good in my business I could simply just meet the expectations of my passengers. But, to be GREAT in my business, I have to EXCEED the customer’s expectations! I like both the sound and the return of being ‘great’ better than just getting by on ‘average'”

Did I tip him big time? You bet! Corporate America’s loss is the traveling folk’s friend!


  • Go an Extra Mile when providing any Service to others.
  • The is no good or bad job. You can make any job good.
  • Good service always brings good return.

et cetera