The ability to communicate effectively with others is a gift. Not all of us are born with this gift, which turns out to be an asset for the development of an individual. Communication also determines the growth of organization as a whole. Authoritative communication, peer communication are important aspects of organizational communication. With the advent of communication media and techniques, communication at workplace has also assumed a new face. Still, the basic core of communication at workplace remains the same. Communication styles in the workplace can be differentiated in various forms.
What are the Different Forms of Communication in the Workplace?
Large organization consists of employees that come from various backgrounds, cultures, races, nations and so on. It is important to bring all of them on an equal footing by establishing a common foundation of communication. Effective communication in the workplace creates a harmonious work culture which helps the individuals and organization to grow together. Understanding the various forms of communication may help in improving communication in the workplace.
Visual communication is an interactive form of communication, which relies on basic observation skills of employees. Various techniques of visual communication can be used in an organization. Presentations, displaying charts, figures and graphics on the notice board are some forms of visual communication in the workplace. A message can also be conveyed by showing an audio visual clip of the subject matter.
Written communication is the most commonly utilized type of communication at office. This also happens to be the most primitive form of workplace communication. However, with time, hand written communication has been replaced by typed communication to a great extent. Written communication can assume the form of formal communication as well as informal communication at the workplace. Formal written communication involves exchange of emails, electronic or physical memos, documents, training materials and so on. Informal written communication comprises text messages, instant messaging etc. The flow of written communication can be from management to employees and vice versa or between peers.
Verbal communication is the most important aspect of workplace communication. It can be further subdivided into two categories which are as follows.
Formal verbal communication includes meetings, seminars, conferences, address, training etc. The exchange of ideas can take place at various levels. It can be a small group communication such as board meetings, team meetings, department meetings or it can be at an organizational level. This type of communication requires a facilitator to initiate and direct the proceedings. The attendees usually come with their own agendas, opinions for such meetings. Formal communication can take place face to face or exchange of ideas can take place remotely by the means of advanced technology such as video conferencing.
Informal or Grapevine
Grapevine communication is the most interesting part of workplace communication. It does not conform to the usual norms of workplace communication. Besides, it flows in all possible directions upward (employee to management), downward (management to employee), across (within peers), diagonal (within departments) etc. Informal or grapevine communication is usually the source of all rumors and gossip in the office. This type of communication must be controlled effectively, else it may hamper the work culture of an organization and deter its growth.
Non Verbal Communication
Although, this form of communication is rarely used in the workplace, it may have a significant impact upon the exchange of ideas and views at workplace. Generally, signs, touch are two basic aspects of non verbal communication. However, touch is not considered as an appropriate form of workplace communication. Nonetheless, a lot can be shared and conveyed with the help of a body language which is one of the most important aspect of communication. Verbal communication accompanied with appropriate body language can prove to be a very effective medium of communication at workplace.
All these forms of communication can be effectively used for the growth of an organization. Improper communication may lead to misunderstanding between various groups and individuals, which may have a bad impact upon organization as a whole. Ideas and messages must be conveyed clearly and without any ambiguity. This will leave no scope for errors, misunderstandings and similar issues.
This was all about the various forms of communication in the workplace. Apart from the above mentioned types, several other forms of communication can be used depending upon the needs of an organization.