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Designing Communication

Blending effective professional communication practices

with exceptional client care

different choices;

different outcomes

The Seven Social Stages of a Client Communication

Seven stages are identified, each with a clear social purpose, and which broadly move through opening routines, input and action, to closing routines.

In this short exemplar, the stages are clearly, briefly, demarcated and moved through. Language use is representative of a relationship which establishes the client as an initiator of communication and with an active role; and the professional as expert and as service provider. Language is clearly linked to activity, straightforward and unambiguous.


Seven Social Stages Long Exemplar

Building Meaning Across a Text


The client is mainly framed as an active communicator. The professional is framed as a recipient of communication, as an expert and as a service provider.

Social Roles and Social Status

These positive propositions and proposals are straightforward Statements in the Declarative, with one invitation as a moderated Command projecting an Offer. They respond to the client and initiate input.

Pronouns and possessives

There is a balance between references to the client, namely the matter, and the professional’s self-reference in terms of expertise.


One modalising factor is used: likely. This is clear and unambiguous. The subsequent sentences invite further discussion around the factors of likelihood. Other sentences leave no room for ambiguity.

Open and Close stages 1, 2, 6 and 7

These stages politely and formally greet the client, thank them for contact and invite further progressing contact at the polite, formal close. The last advisory stage is combined with leave-taking. This is common in short communications, where there is a focus on contact.

Advisory stages 3, 4 and 5

These stages support the client’s enquiry with a positive confirmation and statement of expertise, which pre-empts a client querying and opens an avenue for discussion. The style is clear and direct in fairly short sentences.