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Types of Communication – Introduction to Management (ITM)

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types of communicationTypes of Communication
Principles of Management (POM)
Third Semester | Second year
BSc.CSIT | Tribhuvan University (TU)

Types of Communication
Communication can occur via various processes and methods and depending on the channel used and the style of communication there can be various types of communication. The common type of communication involves: Formal and Informal, &Interpersonal and Nonverbal

a) Formal Communication
Formal communication includes all the instances where communication has to occur in a set formal format. Typically this can include all sorts of business communication or corporate communication. The style of communication in this form is very formal and official. Official conferences, meetings and written memos and corporate letters are used for communication. Formal communication can also occur between two strangers when they meet for the first time. Hence formal communication is straightforward, official and always precise and has a rigid in nature. There are three forms of formal communication: Downward, Upward and Horizontal or Lateral

  • Downward communication: The flow of information from superior to subordinates in management hierarchy is known as downward communication. Basically, information of instruction, plans, policies and direction formally flow from upper level to the lower level. An appropriate flow of downward information employees responsible and loyal to the organizational goals. The main media of downward communication consists of regular schedule of work, notice, circular, memo etc.
  • Upward Communication: The flow of information from subordinates to superiors in management hierarchy is known as upward communication. Basically, information of achievement of work done, problems faced in performance, suggestions etc are communicated from lower level to the upper level. Such information enables the management to know what actually happening in all the departments of the organization.
  • Horizontal or Lateral communication: It is the flow of information among the employees having equal level of authority. In such a communication system, employees having equal level exchange their ideas, views, experience, and knowledge among each other. This form of communication is essential to exchange information of common interest and to develop feeling of teamwork among the employees.

b) Informal Communication
In informal communication, information flows through any channel which is free from official restriction. Informal communication requires two people to have a similar wavelength and hence occurs between friends and family. Informal communication does not have any rigid rules and guidelines. Informal conversations need not necessarily have boundaries of time, place or even subjects for that matter since we all know that friendly chats with our loved ones can simply go on and on.

Based on the channels used for communicating, the process of communication can be broadly classified as Interpersonal (verbal) communication and non-verbal communication. Interpersonal communication includes written and oral communication whereas the non-verbal communication includes body language, facial expressions and visuals diagrams or pictures used for communication.

c. Interpersonal Communication :
Communication that takes place between two individuals or group of individuals in face-to-face or through direct contact is known as interpersonal communication. Interpersonal communication is further divided into written and oral communication.

  • Oral communication: The oral communication refers to the spoken words in the communication process. Oral communication can either be face-to-face communication or a conversation over the phone or on the voice chat over the Internet. Spoken conversations or dialogs are influenced by voice modulation, pitch, volume and even the speed and clarity of speaking.
  • Written communication: The other type of interpersonal communication is written communication. Written communication can be either via snail mail, or email. The effectiveness of written communication depends on the style of writing, vocabulary used, grammar, clarity and precision of language.

d. Nonverbal Communication
Non-verbal communication includes the overall body language of the person who is speaking, which will include the body posture, the hand gestures, and overall body movements. The facial expressions also play a major role while communication since the expressions on a person’s face say a lot about his/her mood. On the other hand gestures like a handshake, a smile or a hug can independently convey emotions. Non verbal communication can also be in the form of pictorial representations, signboards, or even photographs, sketches and paintings.

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