Formal communication is usually sent from senior management to various departments and personnel. Every organisation, in most cases, has a formal dialogue method. Consider the annual conference or even group meetings that your boss requires. Formal communication is exemplified by these examples.

Informal communication has far more potential than simply exchanging casual banter. This method of communication can be quite beneficial in resolving a problem between management and staff. Read on to learn about all the types of communication used in the English language.

Types of Communication

Communication is divided into 4 parts: Formal, Informal, Interpersonal and Non Verbal. Read the following paragraphs to learn about them in detail.

Formal Communication

Formal com refers to information exchanged via formally established channels. In other terms, formal com refers to information that passes through a formal chain of control or authority structure. Information is disseminated via a professionally designed channel or infrastructure. Management is in charge of designing, controlling, and regulating it.

Advantages of Formal Com

It aids in the establishment of responsibility and accountability.

It aids in the firm’s authority lines being maintained.

It aids in the maintenance of discipline.

It provides a smooth com flow.

Disadvantages of Formal Com

It is devoid of human relationships and contacts.

It takes a long time. Com takes a long time.

Because practically all information is funnelled via a single executive, it creates a congestion in the information flow.

It obstructs the open, seamless, and accurate flow of information throughout a company.

#1. Horizontal

Horizontal com occurs when two or more people at the same position or rank in the same department or various departments of the company communicate with each other. The flow is horizontal when the financial manager interacts with the marketing manager about advertising expenditures. Horizontal comm’s goal is to bring together the efforts of many departments or individuals.

#2. Vertical

Vertical com occurs when information is conveyed from the top to the bottom or from the bottom to the top of a hierarchical hierarchy. Vertical com can take two forms in this case:

# Downward

Downward com occurs when messages are sent from higher level to lower level along with the command chain. It is the process of communicating information from superiors to subordinates. Job instructions, official memoranda, policy declarations, procedures, manuals, and company periodicals are the most prevalent downward messages.

# Upward

Upward com is defined as the transmission of messages from the bottom to the top of an organisational hierarchy. This gives information on the degree to which downward com is successful. It’s also a way of alerting management about employee perspectives, reactions, feelings, and morale.

Suggestion box, team meetings, reports to managers, and appeal or grievance procedures are all common upward communication tools. In democratic and participatory management, upward com is typically used. Strong upward channels of com are critical because they allow employees to participate in decision-making.

#3. Diagonal

Communication that crosses departmental boundaries is known as diagonal com. Individuals who are not in the same division or at the same level of the organisational hierarchy communicate in this way. To put it another way, it refers to the exchange of communications between supervisors and subordinates who are not in the same division or on the same organisational level.

Communication between management and workers in various functional divisions is referred to as diagonal com. Even though both vertical and horizontal com are crucial, in most modern businesses, these categories no longer effectively reflect com demands and flows.

The term “diagonal com” was coined to describe the new communication issues that have arisen as a result of new organisational structures like matrix and project-based organisations.

Also Read: What is Communication? Why is it Important? Let’s Learn Communication Skills for Perfection!

What is Informal Communication?

Informal communication is defined as com that occurs between members of a group through informal relationships. It is a form of personal com rather than a form of positional com. It does not follow the established lines of power or chain of command. It isn’t even governed by official rules and processes. Individuals of an informal group typically use this method to exchange ideas, viewpoints, opinions, and other info.

There is a shortage of official com instructions. There is no formal organisational structure to control or design it. As a result, it is not employed to convey formal messages.

Advantages of Informal Communication

It’s more adaptable.

It aids in better decision-making.

Informal com is more rapid than formal com in terms of speed.

It is a highly effective and strong com tool.

It could provide supervisors with feedback on their actions and choices.

Disadvantages of Informal Communication

It’s impossible to determine who is responsible for the information.

It could lead to misunderstandings.

It contains information that is erroneous, half-truth, or skewed.

Information is tough to believe.

It results in the disclosure of sensitive information.

#1. Single Strand Chain

This is when A communicates an idea or piece of knowledge with B, who then takes it on to C, and so forth.

#2. Cluster Chain

Have you ever observed how a social networking challenge spreads like wildfire? Individuals start something new and challenge 3 friends, for example. They finish the challenge and tag 3 other people, and so on. This is how a cluster chain com system is established and maintained.

#3. Gossip Chain

Consider the conversations in the campus canteen, when one person vividly narrates her previous travels to a group of friends huddled around the desk to listen. That’s how the rumour mill works. A single individual starts the conversation and shares data with a set of people, who subsequently pass it on to others.

Nowadays, most businesses try to combine official and informal com channels as effectively as possible. As a result, worker efficiency, production, and trust have all improved. Effective com skills are important for anyone’s job advancement, from a fresher to a group leader to a supervisor.

Interpersonal Communication

The exchange of data between two or more persons face-to-face or through any other direct method is known as interpersonal com. It is two-way comn because it is done face-to-face with the parties. Managers or supervisors giving their employees advice and guidance in their sight is a prominent example of interpersonal com. Interpersonal com can take the form of either spoken or written communication.

#1. Oral Comm

Oral commn occurs when a message is conveyed via the words of the mouth or spoken words. It might happen in person or through the phone, cellphone, intercom, or any other electronic device. The origin of the message, i.e. the sender, conveys the information via oral means, i.e. through conversing, in oral communication. This method of communication is more dependable because the sender receives immediate feedback.

#2. Written Comm

Written comm is when a message is conveyed via the use of written words. It can be expressed in a variety of ways, including groups, charts, diagrams, and drawings, both with and without words. Information is conveyed with the receiver via writing or drawing in this method of communication. It is a method of formal comm. Written communication is typically used to deliver information that needs to be maintained for a long period for future reference.

Also Read: Who Needs Presentation Skills training? Effective Ways to Improve Your Presentation Skills

Non Verbal Communication

The non verbal communication is defined as comm by postures or gestures of bodily components. It’s a type of comm in which something more than words is utilised to send messages from one individual to another.

Non verbal communication, in other words, is the conveyance of information through nonverbal means such as facial expression, bodily movement, physical touch, gestures, and so on. It is a type of communication that does not include the use of written or spoken language.

Shaking hands, twinkling eyes, smiling, clapping, and other gestures are frequently employed to motivate subordinates. It is by far the most effective mode of communication. When this form of communication is required, good managers use it regularly.

Differences Between Formal and Informal Communication

Creating a clear and friendly work culture necessitates both formal and informal comm. Minutes of a meeting are also examples of formal comm. But what distinguishes a casual talk from a formal meeting? Let’s look at how formal versus casual comm differs.

Point 1

Formal comm is often referred to as official communication. Informal comm can often start flowing in any direction, but formal comm usually follows a particular format or channels, like emails to clients.

Point 2

The messages exchanged at formal events must remain confidential. However, maintaining confidentiality during a casual talk might be difficult. In fact, it’s reasonable to conclude that the majority of rumours and gossip begin with casual conversation.

Point 3

Formal communication takes a long time. Informal comm, on the other hand, is frequently rapid and simple to traverse. Formal comm is more dependable since it adheres to a set structure established by the company. Informal comm, alternatively, takes off on its own and follows its own path.


The exchange of official information through suitable, designated channels and routes is referred to as formal comm. Information flow is controlled, and effective communication needs a purposeful effort.

A hierarchical organisation and chain of command govern formal communication. The company’s structure is often top down, with executives in various divisions and senior personnel funnelling down to lower level workers. Formal comm is deemed effective since it occurs in a timely and organised manner.

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