The Three-Part Communication Model


Effective communication is key for leaders. However, simply telling someone to do something will not always provide the results that we seek. Leaders need to strive to ensure effective communication and that the vision of what is being asked is both received and easy to follow. That is why I have created the Three-Part Communication Model.

  • State what needs to be done as simply as possible.
  • State why it needs to be done as simply as possible.
  • Emphasize what you are looking for by stating what success looks like upon completion, and then verify the understanding of what that success will be.  

Engaging in this type of communication does several things:

  1. It ensures that both the speaker and the receiver are on the same page.
  2. It sets the expectation of standard.
  3. It requires both parties to be more vision-oriented.
  4. It opens the door for questions and clarifications.
  5. It invites an opportunity for refinement and suggestion.
  6. It comes with the opportunity for accountability firmly attached.
  7. It reduces mistakes and increases the odds of achieving the vision.


Bad Communication: I need you to clean the bathroom.

This type of communication only provides what needs to be done. It does not set a standard to follow and assumes too much. The opportunity for failure is elevated because the ask was too broad.  

Good Communication: I need you to clean the bathroom. We are expecting your grandmother this weekend, so I want the bathroom to look good. Do what you can but pay attention to the area behind the toilet and scrub the tub. She’s a stickler about that at her house. Any questions?

See the difference? Since both parties are on the same page, the opportunity for mistakes has been reduced, while the odds of achieving the stated vision have been increased. Furthermore, understanding the motivation behind the ask increases the odds of the worker going above and beyond due to having a shared interest in the outcome.

This model is a great supplement for use with the GF Proposal Model and Validation Exchange Theory.

Use of this work is permitted with proper citation.

  • In Text: (Robertson, 2016)
  • Bibliography: Robertson, D. (2016). Three Part Communication Model. [online] DMR Publications. Available at: [Accessed Date].
  • Link To: