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Types of Communication: Formal, Informal, Grapevine, Verbal & NonVerbal
Think about how communication affects your daily life. What are you trying to do when you send a text message, make a phone call, or like a post on social media? Have you ever had trouble understanding what someone was saying to you, or got into an argument because of a misinterpreted email?
The real problem may be due to the lack of communication. This tutorial will provide you with an overview of what is communication and help you acquire fundamental skills in major areas of communication.
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The English term "communication" originates from the Latin word "communicare," which means "to share." Communication is fundamental and essential for human life and survival. It involves generating and exchanging ideas, information, viewpoints, facts, and emotions between two people, or groups. So, paying attention to your communication style can boost your interpersonal skills, reduce frustration, and help build trust among others.
The actions we take to make sure we have effectively communicated are part of the communication process. The sender and the receiver are the two important elements of every communication. During a conversation, the sender delivers an idea or concept, requests information, or expresses a sentiment or emotion, and the receiver decodes the message. The sender, also known as the communicator or source of communication, is the one who starts the exchange of messages during communication. The "receiver" refers to either an individual or a group of people who provide feedback to the "sender." The channel is the way through which information or messages are sent from the sender to the receiver. Effective and efficient communication requires the right channel.
There are several communication channels, including the telephone, postal mail, the Internet, radio, television, the press, etc.
Different Types of Communication
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Formal communication is found to be more effective because it flows in a timely and organised way. The exchange of official information through defined and appropriate channels is referred to as formal communication. A conscious effort is made to regulate the flow of information for effective communication.
The structure of formal communication is usually top-down, involving senior staff and departmental heads to lower-level staff. When at work, staff members must follow formal communication and use proper channels for communicating with one another.
The following are the advantage and disadvantages of the official communication style −
Devoid of errors − Follows rules and regulations. Consequently, there is a low risk of error in the exchange of information inside the organisation.
Future reference − The official communication's copy is always kept in the file and can be used for future reference.
Message received as intended −In formal communication, messages are impersonal and thus reach the receiver exactly as intended.
Takes more time − It takes more time for formal communication to reach its objective since it must transit through many organisational levels or stages.
Lack of personal connection − Since formal communication happens by following rules and regulations, there isn't much room for people to get to know each other on a personal level.
A lack of flexibility − It is not feasible to deliver an emergency message since it adheres to following strict guidelines.
Informal communication is multifaceted. Typically, it is done verbally and by gestures. They are not limited by specific channels or lines of communication as they travel throughout the organisation and are quick. Individuals engage with each other freely and discuss a wide variety of issues, often extending beyond their professional tasks. Informal communication by its nature is more relational compared to formal communication.
The following are the advantage and disadvantages of informal communication −
Flexible communication − Since there are no formalities involved, communication is more flexible.
Mind at ease − Relieves your frustration while conversing calmly.
Rapid communication − The message spreads quickly.
Spreads rumours − As informal communication is unstructured, individuals attempt to utilise it as a means of presenting the truth in a variety of ways.
Lack of discipline − As informal channels of communication do not adhere to a formal chain of command, they are prone to mistakes and omissions during communication.
Creates Misconceptions − High chances of transmitting inaccurate, distorted, and false information.
A sort of unofficial social connection that occurs at work is called "grapevine communication." It is named so because it extends through the whole organisation in every direction, regardless of authority levels. Information is quickly transmitted through grapevine routes.
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For example, when a worker gets any sensitive information, he becomes curious and shares it with his best buddy, who subsequently shares it with others. It spreads quickly as a result. Thus, employees use the grapevine network instead of the official channels of communication when they feel the need to express their opinions.
Mostly such discussions take place in the cafeteria during the breaks where the workers often discuss and share opinions with their colleagues regarding their superior's attitude and behaviour. They talk or discuss rumours about staff transfers and promotions. As a result, grapevine pieces of information spread like wildfire, and sometimes it is difficult to identify the source of such information.
Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication
In order to communicate effectively, it is often necessary to use both verbal and nonverbal cues. Interpersonal communication that includes written communication, oral communication, and sign language is called verbal communication. In verbal communication, two or more individuals use words to transmit meaning.
Non-verbal communication is the act of conveying information without the use of spoken or written words. It includes several bodily components and the actions might be conscious or subconscious from the side of the communicator.
Nonverbal communication includes facial expressions, appearance, gestures, body language, eye gazing, proxemics (personal space), haptics (touch), and artifacts.
No communication can take place unless the receiver/audience receiving the information reads it and understands it in the same way it is intended by the sender. Therefore, communication is not what is sent but rather what is received by the receiver.
Q1. Why is formal communication important?
Ans. Formal communications are often used in the workplace in order to make it clear to the reader exactly what the sender is trying to say.
Q2. Which mode of communication involves different parts of your body?
Ans. Non-verbal communication.
Q3. Which mode of communication is multi-dimensional?
Ans. Informal communication
Q4. What is communication and its two important elements?
Ans. Communication is fundamental and essential for human life and survival. It involves generating and exchanging ideas, information, viewpoints, facts, and emotions between two people, or groups. The sender and the receiver are the two important elements of every communication.
Q5. Why is it not easy to control grapevine communication?
Ans. A sort of unofficial social connection that occurs at the workplace is called "grapevine communication." It is named so because it extends through the whole organisation in every direction, regardless of authority levels. Such discussions mostly take place in the cafeteria during the breaks where the workers often discuss and share opinions with their colleagues regarding their superior's attitude and behaviour. They talk or discuss rumours on staff transfers and promotions.
As a result, grapevine pieces of information spread like wildfire, and sometimes it is difficult to identify the source of such information. Therefore, it is not easy to control grapevine communication.
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