Every single day, we perform a lot of tasks. Some of them are planned and others come naturally to us. For instance, breathing, the beating of the heart, and the process of communication with others.
As long as one lives in a family and social environment, he/she voluntarily and instinctively communicates with the people around. Communication is a continuous process and the way we communicate is reflective of who we are. Therefore, communication has great importance in building a positive social image and overall personal and professional success. While the ability to communicate is natural, honing the process of communication to achieve desired results is purely a strategic skill that can be learned through practice.
Having said that, let’s take a look at the various types of communication:
Verbal communication is the most common form of conversation. You might speak to someone face-to-face, on phone, through a video call or a recorded audio/video message. It can be formal when you chat with a friend or family member and professional when you speak to a colleague. Irrespective of whether it is formal or informal, the way we speak and the words, tone, pitch that we use, proves to be the real differentiator.
In face-to-face communication, the impact of actual words spoken is often diminished or enhanced by the accompanying non-verbal actions. Posture, expressions, eye contact, hand gestures, and touch etc define our intent and ability to communicate even more than the words.
A formal email, an official report, a social media post or a chat conversation, these are all types of written communication. Poor writing skills, wrong usage of words etc can cause confusion, embarrassment and even legal challenges. We are living in a digital world where the extent of written communication is increasing by the day. This is why one has to be careful and construct the sentences coherently. Whatever it is that you are trying to convey, make sure it portrays you in a positive manner.
In most of the discussions on types of communication, people tend to miss the listening skills. However, it is an absolutely critical skill as unless you clearly hear and understand the other person, your response is likely to be incorrect, incomplete or insensitive. Such a perception is unlikely to win you any favours.
Visual media is growing exponentially. Today, we have 24/7 TV channels, social media videos, images etc. Whether you post a photo on Instagram, a short video on Tiktok or a vlog on YouTube, the objective usually is to convey a message. It could be funny, informative, casual, exclamatory or any other message, but putting the right thoughts and being careful is essential in visual communication. Otherwise, you might end up rubbing the audience on the wrong side.
Now that we have looked at the various types of communication, it is also important to learn how to improve our process of communication.
Over the years, communication experts, linguists, and educators have devised the 7 C’s of communication framework. By understanding and implementing these 7 C’s of communication in our regular process of communication, we can get rid of the shortcomings and be known as effective communicators. Here are these 7C’s of communication for your reference:
- Clear – The message has to be clear and easily understandable
- Correct – The message has to be linguistically correct. Usage of slang, grammatical and spelling errors should be watched against
- Complete – The message should include all the relevant information as necessary for the recipients/target audience
- Concrete –All details mentioned in the message should be conveyed in a manner that there is no scope for misunderstanding. The facts and figures should be authenticated and cross checked.
- Concise – Unless you are writing something creative, the message has to be as concise and matter of fact as possible.
- Considerate – Different people have different sensibilities in terms of knowledge, social background, culture, religion, gender or personal opinions. The communication needs to factor in all these elements.
- Courteous – The message should be unbiased and convey respect for the recipients.
Communication is integral to our lives. The better we get at it, the better our social and professional profile will be. Keep the above points in mind and adhere to the 7 C’s of communication to leverage maximum impact from the process of communication!