Communication is the heart and soul of any business. We communicate with the people on our teams, we communicate with the people we work for--and with those who work for us--and we communicate with customers, vendors, competitors, and many others.

No matter how good we might be at communicating, there's always room to improve. Whether it's the message itself, or how we deliver it, by carefully considering how you communicate, you can be more effective--in business and in life.

Be sure to keep these 7 C's in mind the next time you communicate, and make every interaction you have better and more effective.

1. Clear

It's critically important that your messages are clear and completely understandable by whomever it is you're communicating with. Don't beat around the bush, and don't wander off message.

2. Consistent

For your communication to be effective, you've got to make sure that your message is consistent from day to day, and that people can rely on what you say. Don't give anyone a reason to wonder whether or not you really believe in the message you are communicating.

3. Credible

Speak the truth, and be transparent and credible. It's not easy to build trust, and once you've lost it, it may be gone forever.

4. Confident

Be confident in your communication--know the facts, and present them well. Don't be shy. The more confident you are when you communicate, the more confident people will be in you.

5. Civil

You really don't need to beat people up or try to one-up others when you communicate. Keep your ego in check when you communicate, and treat others like you would like to be treated yourself.

6. Concise

Focus relentlessly on honing your message to its true essence. Don't fill your communication with lots of big words or mumbo jumbo when a handful of small words will do just fine.

7. Compassionate

Remember the feelings of others, and be kind and compassionate when you communicate. Instead of tearing people down, take the opportunity to build them up. Not only will your message be more effectively communicated, but also the people who receive it will be grateful for your kindness.