The communication process involves both words and expressions to express one’s feelings to others or convey some important message. It also involves using gestures, symbols, and body movements to transfer the message to the other person.
Communication can be categorized into different types depending upon the level at which it takes place, the direction it takes, or its very nature.
Types of Communication
We have discussed here the 10 types of communication which can be categorized on the following basis:
- Formal Communication
- Informal Communication
- Downward Communication
- Upward Communication
- Horizontal Communication
- Diagonal Communication
- Verbal Communication
- Non-Verbal Communication
- Oral Communication
- Written Communication
On the Basis of Organization
On the basis of relationship of organizational structure, there are two types of communication which are given below:
Formal communication is said to be that communication that takes place through formal channels of the organization. Formal communication generally follows a well-defined hierarchical pattern and periodicity. Memos, circulars, instructions, guidelines, clarifications, agreements, and reports are some of the channels that facilitate the flow of formal communication in business organizations.
Formal Communication: Advantages and Disadvantages
|Advantages of Formal Communication||Disadvantages of Formal Communication|
|Helps in the fixation of responsibility and maintains authority relationships in the organization.||Communication is slow as it has to go through various levels.|
|It is orderly and systematic as it follows the organizational structure.||Lacks personal involvement.|
|Provides authority and support to superiors over subordinates.||Free opinion cannot be expressed in it.|
|The source and direction of the flow of information can be traced easily.||Upward communication may be distorted.|
|Fewer chances of the message being distorted.|
Informal communication is a form of communication that is free from all kinds of formalities. It does not follow authority lines. It is established for societal affiliations of members in an organization and face-to-face discussions. It happens among friends and family. Informal communication is implicit, spontaneous, multi-dimensional, and varied. It arises out of the personal needs of the members of the organization and exists in every organization.
Such communication is usually oral and may be conveyed even by a simple glance, gesture, smile, or silence. In informal communication use of slang words, and foul language is not restricted. It is just casual talk.
Informal Communication: Advantages and Disadvantages
|Advantages of Informal Communication||Disadvantages of Informal Communication|
|Develops friendly relations among employees.||It may carry wrong information which may harm the organization.|
|It is faster than formal communication.||It is not possible to fix the responsibility for the source of information and its carrier.|
|It provides feedback for policies of management as employees express frank opinions.||It spreads rumors and develops misunderstandings among the employees.|
|Carries a lot of information and may develop the growth of the organization.||Confidential information may be leaked.|
|It helps in improving decision-making in the organization as many people give their suggestions.||There is a distortion of facts while passing the information.|
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On the Basis of Direction
On the basis of the direction of communication. There can be four types of communication which are discussed below:
Downward communication moves from the top to the bottom. The effect of this type of communication is much more than upward communication. It means enlisting the support of the people who will be needed to implement the mission and vision. It comprises messages from higher authority to lower levels, in the form of letters, notes, circulars, and sometimes face-to-face or through public address systems, for example, meetings. This is the most frequent form of communication within an organization.
Downward Communication: Advantages and Disadvantages
|Advantages of Downward Communication||Disadvantages of Downward Communication|
|It helps in controlling and maintaining the subordinate||It is one-way communication|
|It helps in explaining the plans and policies of the organization to employees.||It is time-consuming because information passes from top to the bottom level management|
|It is a tool to delegate authority from the top to the bottom level management||Sometimes top level management may filter the information due to fear that it might leak|
|It helps in preparing the people to introduce change||It is time-consuming so, sometimes messages become ineffective|
Upward communication flows from lower designation to higher designation. It flows in the form of messages from subordinates to higher people in the form of reports on work done, and suggestions, which are mostly formal. Similarly, communication from branches to regional offices, regional offices to zonal offices, and zonal offices to the head office is referred to as upward communication.
Employee suggestions, market reports, performance reports, feedback on new products, and requests for facilities or instructions are all examples of upward communication
Upward Communication: Advantages and Disadvantages
|Advantages of Upward Communication||Disadvantages of Upward Communication|
|Helps in building relationships between upper management, lower management, and employees.||It consumes a lot of time to communicate the problems at a higher level of management.|
|Helps in development and innovation by providing feedback.||Employees provide only that information that is favorable to higher management.|
|Helps employees to participate in decision-making.||Sometimes it affects decision-making because higher management only gets half information from subordinates.|
|Helps in knowing employees’ attitudes.||Sometimes higher-level management is flooded with information that is of no use.|
Lateral communication generally takes place in an organization and is neither upward nor downward. It proceeds in a horizontal manner and takes place among equals and at the peer level.
Diagonal communication is a mixture of vertical and horizontal movement. Tasks frequently arise which involve more than one department and there is often no obvious line of authority.
On the Basis of Expression
On the basis of media or expression, there can be two types of communication:
Communication through language is called verbal communication. Verbal communication can be further classified into two types of communication which are:
Oral communication refers to the form of communication in which a message is transmitted verbally. In oral communication, words are grouped into sentences that can convey meanings. It includes face-to-face conversations, speech, telephonic conversation, video, radio, television, and voice over the internet. In oral communication, communication is influenced by pitch, volume, speed, and clarity of speaking.
Oral Communication: Advantages and Disadvantages
|Advantages of Oral Communication||Disadvantages of Oral Communication|
|It’s always the speediest in the interchange of messages at the individual level.||It is not permanent like written communication.|
|It can develop close relations between the speaker and the listener.||It may not be understood by people from other cultures.|
|It brings quick feedback.||It is generally influenced by self-interest and the attitude of the people.|
|The words are generally chosen to suit the listeners.||It is less reliable and has got no proof.|
|It is less expensive than written communication.||In oral communication, there is face-to-face discussion; therefore, the user is unable to deeply think about what he is delivering.|
Written communication is the most common form of communication that is used in business. In written communication, written signs or symbols are used to communicate. It may be printed or handwritten. The message, in written communication, is influenced by the vocabulary & grammar used, writing style, precision, and clarity of the language used.
For internal communication, memos, reports, bulletins, job descriptions, employee manuals, and electronic mail are used. For communicating with the external environment in writing, electronic mail, Internet Web sites, letters, proposals, telegrams, faxes, postcards, contracts, advertisements, brochures, and news releases are used.
Written Communication: Advantages and Disadvantages
|Advantages of Written Communication||Disadvantages of Written Communication|
|It gives permanence to words and thoughts.||It does not bring instant feedback.|
|Message can be edited and revised many times before it is actually sent.||One has to be literate to use written communication.|
|A written message enables the receiver to fully understand it and send appropriate feedback.||It takes more time in composing a written message compared to oral communication.|
|It provides a record for every message sent and can be saved later as proof.||It is more expensive than oral communication.|
|It minimizes the risk of any unauthorized alteration in the messages.||As there is no face-to-face communication, the doubts of the receiver cannot be clarified in real-time.|
Communication other than oral and written, such as gestures, body language, posture, tone of voice, or facial expressions, is called non-verbal communication. This communication is all about the body language of the speaker.
It helps the receiver in interpreting the message received. Often, nonverbal signals reflect the situation more accurately than verbal messages. Sometimes nonverbal response contradicts verbal communication and hence affects the effectiveness of the message. Nonverbal communication has the following three elements:
- Speaker Appearance: Clothing, hairstyle, neatness, use of cosmetics
- Surrounding: Room size, lighting, decorations, furnishings
- Body Language: Facial expressions, gestures, postures, Sounds, Voice Tone, Volume, Speech rate
Non-Verbal Communication: Advantages and Disadvantages
|Advantages of Non-Verbal Communication||Disadvantages of Non-Verbal Communication|
|It helps in conveying the emotions to the receiver which helps in showing sympathy for others.||it lacks secrecy because expressions and gestures can be seen by anyone.|
|It helps in building better relationships.||It can create miscommunication due to non-understanding of the gestures.|
|Help illiterate people to communicate.||It requires the physical presence of both parties|
|It helps in showing the true nature of the communicator through his emotions.||Hard to convey a long and detailed message through non-verbal communication.|
|It is less reliable and has got no written proof.|
What are types of communication?
8 Types of Communication
1. Formal Communication
2. Informal Communication
3. Downward Communication
4. Upward Communication
5. Horizontal Communication
6. Diagonal Communication
7. Verbal Communication
8. Non-Verbal Communication
What is formal communication?
Formal communication is said to be that communication that takes place through formal channels of the organization. Formal communication generally follows a well-defined hierarchical pattern and periodicity.
What is oral communication?
Oral communication refers to the form of communication in which a message is transmitted verbally. In oral communication, words are grouped into sentences that can convey meanings.
What is written communication?
Written communication is the most common form of communication that is used in business. In written communication, written signs or symbols are used to communicate.