Communication is a process of exchanging information, ideas, thoughts, feelings and emotions through speech, signals, writing, or behavior. In communication process, a sender(encoder) encodes a message and then using a medium/channel sends it to the receiver (decoder) who decodes the message and after processing information, sends back appropriate feedback/reply using a medium/channel.
Types of Communication
People communicate with each other in a number of ways that depend upon the message and its context in which it is being sent. Choice of communication channel and your style of communicating also affects communication. So, there are variety of types of communication.
Types of communication based on the communication channels used are:
- Verbal Communication
- Nonverbal Communication
Verbal communication refers to the the form of communication in which message is transmitted verbally; communication is done by word of mouth and a piece of writing. Objective of every communication is to have people understand what we are trying to convey. In verbal communication remember the acronym KISS(keep it short and simple).
When we talk to others, we assume that others understand what we are saying because we know what we are saying. But this is not the case. usually people bring their own attitude, perception, emotions and thoughts about the topic and hence creates barrier in delivering the right meaning.
So in order to deliver the right message, you must put yourself on the other side of the table and think from your receiver’s point of view. Would he understand the message? how it would sound on the other side of the table?
Verbal Communication is further divided into:
- Oral Communication
- Written Communication
In oral communication, Spoken words are used. It includes face-to-face conversations, speech, telephonic conversation, video, radio, television, voice over internet. In oral communication, communication is influence by pitch, volume, speed and clarity of speaking.
Advantages of Oral communication are:
It brings quick feedback.
In a face-to-face conversation, by reading facial expression and body language one can guess whether he/she should trust what’s being said or not.
Disadvantage of oral communication
In face-to-face discussion, user is unable to deeply think about what he is delivering, so this can be counted as a
In written communication, written signs or symbols are used to communicate. A written message may be printed or hand written. In written communication message can be transmitted via email, letter, report, memo etc. Message, in written communication, is influenced by the vocabulary & grammar used, writing style, precision and clarity of the language used.
Written Communication is most common form of communication being used in business. So, it is considered core among business skills.
Memos, reports, bulletins, job descriptions, employee manuals, and electronic mail are the types of written communication used for internal communication. For communicating with external environment in writing, electronic mail, Internet Web sites, letters, proposals, telegrams, faxes, postcards, contracts, advertisements, brochures, and news releases are used.
Advantages of written communication includes:
Messages can be edited and revised many time before it is actually sent.
Written communication provide record for every message sent and can be saved for later study.
A written message enables receiver to fully understand it and send appropriate feedback.
Disadvantages of written communication includes:
Unlike oral communication, Written communication doesn’t bring instant feedback.
It take more time in composing a written message as compared to word-of-mouth. and number of people struggles for writing ability.
Nonverbal communication is the sending or receiving of wordless messages. We can say that communication other than oral and written, such as gesture, body language, posture, tone of voice or facial expressions, is called nonverbal communication. Nonverbal communication is all about the body language of speaker.
Nonverbal communication helps receiver in interpreting the message received. Often, nonverbal signals reflects the situation more accurately than verbal messages. Sometimes nonverbal response contradicts verbal communication and hence affect the effectiveness of message.
Nonverbal communication have the following three elements:
Speaker: clothing, hairstyle, neatness, use of cosmetics
Surrounding: room size, lighting, decorations, furnishings
facial expressions, gestures, postures
Voice Tone, Volume, Speech rate
Types of Communication Based on Purpose and Style
Based on style and purpose, there are two main categories of communication and they both bears their own characteristics. Communication types based on style and purpose are:
- Formal Communication
- Informal Communication
In formal communication, certain rules, conventions and principles are followed while communicating message. Formal communication occurs in formal and official style. Usually professional settings, corporate meetings, conferences undergoes in formal pattern.
In formal communication, use of slang and foul language is avoided and correct pronunciation is required. Authority lines are needed to be followed in formal communication.
Informal communication is done using channels that are in contrast with formal communication channels. It’s just a casual talk. It is established for societal affiliations of members in an organization and face-to-face discussions. It happens among friends and family. In informal communication use of slang words, foul language is not restricted. Usually. informal communication is done orally and using gestures.
Informal communication, Unlike formal communication, doesn’t follow authority lines. In an organization, it helps in finding out staff grievances as people express more when talking informally. Informal communication helps in building relationships.