Communication is the meaningful transmission of your thoughts, ideas and emotions to an individual or a group. Ideally, communication is a three-component system comprising of a sender, a message and a receiver; absence of any of these components makes the process incomplete. Communication is not unique among human beings. Have you seen animals communicating with each other in their unique style? Even plants have a language of their own! Communication is the backbone of life and your professional (as well as personal) life depends on the way you communicate. However, communication doesn’t necessarily mean verbal exchange—elements like facial expressions, movements and postures are equally important. In fact, non-verbal communication is said to comprise 70-80% of total communication. So, in case, you were wondering why things are better for your colleague than they are for you despite the same level of knowledge and qualification, look deeper in your communication style—maybe that is the difference.
Types Of Communication
Communication Based On Channels
Verbal communication is the method of expressing yourself using words. It is of two types: oral and written.
Oral communication is a type in which you speak to the others either in person or through a voice transmitting device like a phone. You should carefully deal with the paralinguistic factors such as modulation, tone, pitch and volume to communicate the intended message with optimum effect.
Written communication, as the name suggests, is done through scripts like letters, messages, etc. The clarity and effectiveness of this method depends upon the style of writing, vocabulary, grammar and precision of the language.
Nonverbal communication is part of the natural overall body language and personality of a person. It comprises of the following parts:
Facial Expressions: They play an important role in your communication especially, when dealing with emotions. Anger, love, grief, happiness—it’s all in the face.
Gestures: They are of utmost use with oral communication. Hand movements, eye contact and finger movements while speaking and folding of arms while listening—all are gestures and may, at times, vary depending upon a person’s cultural background. Body language and posture are also important as they speak volumes about your confidence and personality.
Touch: It is another important nonverbal behavior. Although the importance of touch is heightened in case of personal conversations, its absence is preferred when the conversation is professional.
Communication Based On Purpose
This type of communication is predominant in the corporate and business world and can also be observed when you meet a person for the first time. A polite yet assertive tone is the most notable feature of this form of communication.
This is the common way in which you talk to your family and friends. There are no constraints or strict guidelines to limit you. However, even here there are certain social norms which set apart the way you talk to your family and the way you talk to your friends. Despite all these minor rules, this style allows you to be casual and cool. Such conversations are usually beyond the boundaries of time, subject and place.
This type of communication is more applicable to visually and/or speech impaired people who are not able to use language, in its complete sense, to communicate. These people depend more on the facial expression or voice modulation or even touch to communicate with others.
Communication Based On Flow
This communication is an organizational form of communication wherein dialogue flows upward and downward between hierarchically positioned people. Flow of communication from a superior to his staff is called downward communication while the dialogue that flows from the staff to their superior is referred to as upward communication. Therefore, downward communication is more authoritative and proactive while upward communication is usually reactive.
This form of organizational communication exists between people who are either at the same level in an organization (peers) or are absolutely unrelated to each other hierarchically.
Communication Based On Response
In this type of communication, the conversation ends if there is a delay in response. In other words, it can also be said that this form of conversation depends upon mutual interaction and doesn’t go further without it. For e.g., any regular conversation with anyone cannot be continued unless both the parties respond to each other.
Asynchronous communication never waits for the response and keeps on communicating/sending messages to the other end. For e.g., weather data from the satellites—the receiving office doesn’t have to keep acknowledging the receipt of data; it keeps coming in without fail.
There are different types of communication that can do the job for you in a social or official scenario. You can adopt any form depending on what you intend to achieve.