Humans are naturally prone to change their language, tone, and inflection when speaking to different types of people.
While most individuals use formal communication and professional non-verbal body language during an interview, they may use informal communication during a phone call with a close friend or when writing an email to a family member. The communication form should vary depending on the situation to ensure the audience is responsive and feels respected.
The digital age may have lessened the need for workplace phone calls or in-person meetings to take place, but most employees continue to use the same communication styles with certain groups of people.
Speaking with a Small or Large Audience:
- Concentration Level - With smaller crowds, the speaker can relax and interact with team members. Large audiences require more concentration and less personal interaction.
- Voice Quality - In-person meetings may require the speaker to use a microphone to make sure everyone can hear and pay attention. If there is no microphone available, the speaker should talk at a volume that ensures the people in the back can clearly hear it.
- Style - Experts have determined that a speaker captures a large audience by using less movement and more subtle expressions, while small audiences give the speaker more leeway to move freely and be more expressive.
4 Types of Business Communication
Building strong internal and external relationships through effective business communication is essential for organizations to maximize productivity and achieve key objectives.
Experts have classified business communication into 4 separate types, each of which is used when engaging in face to face dialogue, written communication, communication software systems, video conferencing, meetings, phone calls, or instant messaging.
How an employee communicates when utilizing one of these mediums depends upon the hierarchy of the organization and who the audience is. Businesses should establish best practices to ensure communication is appropriate and effective for each audience type.
By standardizing effective business communication, a company will build stronger internal and external relationships, allowing everyone to work together to achieve revenue and performance targets. Details of these 4 types include-
1. Internal Upward Communication
This form of business communication encompasses any correspondence that moves from a subordinate to a superior. Managers require regular updates from subordinates to ensure operations are running smoothly.
Because the leadership team prefers to have detailed information, many subordinates submit reports, templates, or other written documents that include data, facts, and figures.
For example, a sales manager may produce a weekly sales report for the owner to show the number of sales, prospects, and performance of each employee.
The owner can then use this report to see if current strategies are working, pinpoint which workers require more assistance, and calculate how many leads are turning into paying customers.
2. Internal Downward Communication
This includes any correspondence from a manager or superior to a subordinate. It may encompass verbal commands, emails, in-person meetings, or phone calls.
Effective leaders speak professionally and respectfully to employees and include all of the necessary information so everyone can perform their jobs.
Clear and concise internal downward communication can help prevent miscommunications, frustration, and further questions. Writing memos or uploading documents into a communication software system can help ensure that subordinates fully understand important information, and it provides a point of reference for later.
3. Internal Lateral Communication
Lateral communication includes all of the correspondences that occur between employees in the workplace. This may encompass communication through software messaging systems, emails, in-person discussions, or phone calls.
Communication can occur within a single business unit or between different business units. For example, a sales team member may request regular updates from the manufacturing department to ensure a product is made properly for a customer.
Businesses should make certain to implement effective communication software that allows information to flow easily across different departments. The organization should also establish best practices so employees know which methods should be used to communicate with each other.
4. External Communication
External communication includes any emails, phone calls, or other correspondences with customers, vendors, or investors. It may also encompass discussions with tax agencies, financial institutions, or other regulators that are involved with the company.
Marketing and sales departments should use exciting, honest, and precise language when reaching out to prospects or generating new marketing campaigns.
Employees should be professional and respectful when speaking to customers/ vendors to build brand loyalty and maintain the company's reputation. Utilizing an optimized software solution can help establish better relationships with clients and improve the quality of customer service.
For example, many software solutions collect feedback, questions, or complaints from customers and assign them to a specific customer service representative.
While the representative works on resolving the issue, the software system alerts the customer with updates. This helps to make the customer feel appreciated, respected, and taken seriously.
Other Types of External Communication:
- Website content and company blogs
- Company newsletters
- Social media posts
- Press releases
- Company sponsored events