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Now, we will briefly look into another important ā€˜Cā€™ of communication skills; Concrete.

To avoid confusion and ambiguity in communication, experts recommend concrete words in communication. In business communication in particular ambiguity must be totally avoided. Take the sentence: If a minimum number of pieces are not sold for a month, the company is likely to lose a significant amount.

Of course, this sentence gives a warning, we understand; more than that, it conveys nothing; there is some meaning for the sentence but it does not make sense. That is, the reader will not be able to interpret the sentence sensibly. On the other hand, let us rephrase the sentence in the following way. If the company does not manage to sell a minimum of 98 pieces a month, the company stands to lose a sum of Rs 7, 500 in the total turnover leading to a proportionate loss in profit to the company.  You can see the difference between the two sentences. One sentence appears to convey something but actually it does not. The other sentence does convey exact information it aims to convey. This is what is meant when we say the communication must be concrete in its message.

Lots of people witnessed the final match between India and Pakistan; again it is not clear how many witnessed; on the other hand, a good report says 5, 80, 000 people saw the final match.  This is only to say that concrete expressions focus on exactness in details which is a must to avoid any misinterpretation.

To be concrete in communication you have to have all details, all relevant information which cannot be doubted; and concrete communication impresses the reader both in terms of the facts and of the writer. He loved me so much; I owe him a lot; a staggering herd of animals were running helter skelter. All these sentences are grammatically correct; but they lack exactness. It only means that they seem to say something but in fact they say nothing.

In our next session we shall move on to another important factor in communication skills.

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