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Formal And Informal Communication

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Language
Wordcount: 1661 words Published: 17th May 2017

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In this report I have tried to enlighten the different aspects of communication in order to communicate effectively as a manager and different types of communication barriers which will distort the message delivery process and three recommendations for managers how to improve their communication skills. Hope this will complete the subject.


The process of communication falls under three categories which are verbal communication, non verbal communication and written communication. Communication must include both transfer and understanding. Communication cannot exist without a sender and a receiver. Poor communication is probably the most frequently cited source of interpersonal conflict. According to Stephen and Mary (2009, p.329), managers are concern with two types of communication, which are interpersonal communication and organisational communication. Interpersonal communication is communicating with two or more people. And the organisational communication is all the patterns, networks, and system of communication within an organisation, which are important to mangers (Stepehen & Mary, 2009, p.331).

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Four major functions of communication are control, motivate, emotional expression and information. The hierarchies form in the organisations is a control mechanism of communication in the organisations. In this they have created different levels of jobs and the communication is communicated by their immediate supervisor or boss. Communication motivates the employ by giving a feedback of his work how well he have done and in which area he needs to improve. The communication which takes place within the work place with the colleagues is a mechanism by which the members show their frustration and feeling of satisfaction. Therefore communication provides an emotional expression of feelings. The information provided by communication helps to make a decision by the receiver after evaluating the information provided through the communication.


process of human com.jpg


Process of Human communication

Source: http://www.ehow.com/how-does_5431820_process-human-communication.html [Accessed 30 August 2012].

Exhibit 1 which explains the communication process is made up of seven parts. It is 1.Sender sends a message 2.encode its and send it through a 3.channel and the 4 receiver decodes and 5.receive message 6.sends a feedback to the sender this chain concludes when the sender 7.receives the feedback message.

Sender and Receiver

The sender is the individual who initiates the conversation. The sender must communicate the message in a way that the receiver will understand. To do this the sender must encode the message. The way a message is encoded depends on the way the sender and receiver typically communicate and the relationship between the two individuals. The process of encoding is simply taking the thoughts in your head and putting them into words. However the words you use will change depending on who you are talking to. When talking to a customer, your language will be softer and different than when talking to your staffs. If a message is not properly encoded, it is unlikely that the message will be understood (Stephen, 1998, p.313).

The Channel

The channel aspect of the human communication process is the method through which the communication takes place. When humans communicate with one another they must select a channel to do so. Common channels include face-to-face meetings, letters, email, memos, reports, and telephone conversation (Frances, 1995, p.282). The channel selected helps shape the communication that will take place (James & Amy, n.d.). Different channels have different strength.


Noise is one of the negative aspects of human communication and is characterized as the interference that occurs when verbally communicating. Noise can be internal, such as the sender or receiver was getting distracted, or external such as others talking making it difficult to hear the sender.

Verbal Communication

Verbal communication is communication that is spoken. However verbal communication can be extremely complicated. Verbal communication includes the tone and pitch of a person’s voice, the words she chooses, her rate of speech and the volume she speaks at (Burtness & Hulbert, 1985, p.319). Changing one of these characteristics can drastically change the way her messages are received. For example, if you are angry and want the person you are talking with to know you are angry, you are likely to raise your voice and maybe even use choice words.

Nonverbal Communication

Nonverbal communication is another aspect of human communication that we often forget about. Nonverbal communication includes the way we gesture, our posture, what we wear, our facial expressions and even how we sit. Nonverbal communication can be either complimentary or contradictory. Complimentary nonverbal messages strengthen what we are saying with our words, such as frowning when you are telling someone you are sad. Contradictory nonverbal messages weaken what we are saying with our words, such as having a disgusted facial expression while saying that the food is yummy.

Formal and Informal Communication

Formal communication is vertical and follows the authority chain and is limited. Informal communication known as the grapevine is free to move in any direction. This communication can be take place from vertical to horizontal, upwards and downwards and also can skip the authority levels. The grapevine communication is very effective and fast. This passes the massage within few time periods. Through this method managers can identify issues that employ consider important.

Communication Network

There are different patterns of network of communication. The structure itself influences the speed and accuracy of the message and performance and motivation of the participants.

Chain: This gives a flow of information to the end of the chain.

Circle: Here each person can communicate on both sides of him.

Star: This is more decentralise and allows a free flow of information among all group members.

Wheel: Information flows from one person to all.

Y-Pattern: Two persons are close to the centre of the network

Com Network.jpg


Organisation Communication Network

Source: http://www.kkhsou.in/main/EVidya2/Professional%20English/communication.html [Accessed 30 August 2012]



This is manipulating the message in an easy way that the receiver can listen or omitting some part of the message which may cause trouble.


This is one of the common barriers of the world. There are countries which do not use an international language like English or any other common language and they use to stick on their local language. But in a globalizing world there must be a common language which could be use to communicate all. Words mean differently to different people. Age, education and cultural background influence a language the person uses and definition he or she uses (Stepehen & Mary, 2009, p.337).

Physical Barrier

Physical barriers are physical objects which obstructs the receiver to clearly receive the message. For example a wall or distance from the sender (Christopher, 2010). It’s is easy to overcome this barrier and in modern work place the physical barriers are avoided.

Information Overload

Overload of information is also a common barrier. We human beings can cater up to certain amount of information and if the capacity limit is exceeded we may do misinterpret the things which are communicated.

Cross Cultural Communication



The A-Ok gesture

Source: http://hidden-avenue.blogspot.com/ [Accessed 30 August 2012].

As a cross cultural barrier in different parts of the world people interpret gestures and signs differently. As seen in exhibit 3 for some culture they have a meaning which can be communicated in the community and in other cultures it’s abusing one another (Stephen, 1998, p.332). These factors create communication problem. So we must be careful when we communicate in an unknown cultural environment.

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Avoid Information Overload

The managers should be trained how to prioritise their work. They should not burden themselves with work and they should spend excellence moment with their subordinates and should listen to their problems and feedback activity. Be a good delegator and have a workload balance for the day. Plane your day and make a task list. Try to achieve your listed tasks for the day.

Give Constructive Feedback

Always try to avoid giving negative feedback. The content of the feedback might be negative, but it should be delivered constructively. Constructive feedback will lead effective communication and build a good relation between the superior and the subordinate. To give a feedback it’s better to give face to face or if not reachable by phone (Kitty, 1998, p.4). These feedbacks are informal and try to give it regularly and timely as soon as possible.

Listening Actively

A manager must be a good listener. When someone talks we hear. But most of us don’t listen. Listening is an active search for meaning whereas hearing is the passive. Active listening is enhancing developing empathy and putting yourself into senders position. These types of scenarios occur to managers daily. So be empathetic and an active listener to improve your communication skills (Victoria & Holly, 2005).


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