Completeness—One of Six ‘C’ Qualities of Effective Communication
The ‘C of Completeness’, one of six Cs which represents six (6) qualities of effective communication, calls for senders to compose messages to promote goodwill and meet the completeness criteria of who, what, when, where, and how.
Offering complete and relevant information makes communication effective as it rules out the need of another cycle of communication to clarify issues.
WordsOpens in new window express parts of a whole thought. Several words work together to express an entire thought in a sentence.
Sentences Opens in new window become building blocks for messages.
Transitional phrases or words such as however, next, and therefore help connect sentences to paragraphs.
A complete message is of paramount importance as it promotes goodwill, and uses sentences to answer all the 6 W questions—who, what, when, where, why, and how.
When you are developing a message, you do not need to answer the questions who, what, when, where, why, and how in a prescribed order. However, to have a complete message, you must include all of the appropriate answers.
After writing a draft of your message, use the criteria below to evaluate your message for completeness.
Notice how the following examples does not satisfactorily answer the questions who, what, when, where, why, and how :
Please attend our in-service meeting on Thursday at 5 p.m. The meeting will end by 6:30 p.m.
- Who? Your name was included on the distribution list, but you do not know is sponsoring the meeting.
- What? An in-service meeting is being held, but you do not know what kind of a program is planned.
- When? The meeting begins at 5 p.m. and ends by 6:30 p.m., but you do not know which Thursday to attend.
- Where? You do not know the location of the meeting.
- Why? The reason for this particular meeting is unknown.
- How? You do not know how the meeting will benefit you.
The illustration below shows a complete, clear message: