nurture productive conversations
The 4 C’s Part 2: “Let’s Talk About It”

How to have better conversations using the 4 C’s

It should be easy. You talk with someone, you deliver a message, they understand it, and the loop is closed. But of course it’s more complicated than that. Last time, we talked about why miscommunication happens and how to be proactive in making sure your messages get through. Now let’s talk about how to nurture productive conversations using the 4 C’s.

The 4 C’s are a way to:

  • Nurture the connection with the other person at the beginning of and throughout the conversation
  • Be clear, concise, and confident when delivering your message
  • Allow time for collaboration with the other person
  • Close the conversation in a way that confirms the message got through

nurture productive conversations


connect Create an interpersonal connection.
Always be interested as well as interesting! Ask the person about themselves before talking about yourself or your message. Building rapport can establish trust. Use video conferencing whenever you can. Seeing someone’s face on video and having virtual eye contact can help you pick up on nonverbal cues and feel more connected to them.
communicate Clearly communicate your message.
Make sure your message is delivered at the right time, to the right audience in the right method, using the right language. Ask yourself: Who is my audience? Why is this message important? What are the key takeaways I want my audience to know? What is the best way for me to deliver this message (e.g., in person, email, video conference)?
collaborate Build in time for collaboration and listening.
This allows you to know that the message was received and gives the person you are communicating with the chance to respond and ask questions. They can also provide their insight, giving you the opportunity to be an active listener.
confirm Confirm the message.
Restate your main points and then ask questions such as: What else can I tell you? Let’s confirm next steps?

This is the two-minute overview of the 4 C’s. But we have a lot more tips to share that will help you bring them to life. Keep building your communication skills here.

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