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Types of communication is something every office going professional needs to master.
While applying for a job and in a workplace, you need to have both hard skills and soft skills.
Hard skills are learned qualities which are acquired through practice and education. These are the skills you include in a resume, you earn through the years of hard work and practice.
The hard skills in a work place increase the employee efficiency as well as the total productivity of the company. Those are important as it leads to employee satisfaction.
However, in order to be successful in your workplace you need to possess soft skills along with hard skills.
Importance of Different Types of Communication
Your soft skills depend upon your innate ability as well as your emotional intelligence.
It is decided by the way in which you deal with a situation; behave in a social surrounding like your workplace, the interaction you hold with other colleagues, the way you communicate with the authorities and senior officials, your ability to manage work in a beneficial manner and so on.
One of the very important soft skills that decide your position in a workplace as well as your career ahead is communication.
Office communication has always been an important element in maintaining relationships with a person; no matter family or at workplace. Even animals use different ways of communication to give signals or as other forms of expression.
In an official atmosphere, the way you communicate with people determines your attitude as well as those of others toward you.
This may range from the way in which you talk or discuss as well as interact with other people in the company, you deal with the customers and their enquires, the language you use in responding to mails, seeking clarifications in a discussion or making you points and thoughts comprehensible for the listeners.
Not only verbal communication, but your body language and thoughts also play a significant role when it comes to dealing with the atmosphere of an office. Every person is the product of his or her experiences and surroundings in which he or she was brought up and has dealt with so far.
However, in a work environment, you get to see a lot of people with different thoughts, perspectives, and ways in dealing with problems and attitude.
Many a times what happens in a stressful work environment is that you get short-tempered and act likewise in an arrogant and aggressive manner without respecting the feelings of the staff.
Your frustration in job should not reflect on your attitude towards other fellow colleagues. Your soft skills are always evaluated by the employer along with your hard skills; both of these are necessary for the smooth running of the company.
In a profession like teaching, you have to take care of the emotions and behavior of students in a careful manner. Your over-reaction in difficult circumstances or getting frustrated does not make you a good teacher and the children will not find in you a trust with which they can approach you always and open up about their problems.
In fields like those that provide services, you have to be careful when dealing with other people as it may affect your career and future opportunities. Different ways of communicating in a work environment depends upon the type of your job and the services you are rendering as an employee.
However, in most places, you will need to have a strong way of verbal communication and certain non-verbal communication ways like written communication, body language or the way in which you dress up for the workplace.
These things make us realize that how even your small unnoticeable skills which you develop through experience are relevant in a workplace. In fact, your soft skills are evaluated the moment you enter for an interview, no matter how impressive your qualifications in the résumé are.
Types of Office Communication
The basic communication needs in a work place is that of verbal communication, written communication and electronic communication.
Verbal communication, in fact, is a vast area involving everything you say to your interviewers, the people with whom you work, those who work for you as well as the senior officials. Written communication is more about letters, notices, invoices or receipts.
The technological advancement has resulted in people and companies switching to electronic means of communication, which includes mails or online reports and drafts. Non-Verbal communication is something you need to take care of and includes your body language, your work attire, your reflections on the discussions and the way you can give shape to your thoughts.
They are an integral part of your actions in a work place. There are also special ways of communicating depending upon the people who have special needs and require assistance. We have the privilege of systems like Braille and universal sign languages or gestures which would provide them equal opportunities and can be learned easily with the help of technology.
These are some effective ways of communication you need to know in a work place and which will help you to have a strong career:
Language has always been an important part in the life of human beings. We, including the primitive man, have communicated with each other through language starting with different sounds, sound variations; all of these evolving to produce language for an effective and highly sophisticated communication.
Verbal communication will always remain the primary form of communication and this is one of the forms which are practiced by human beings and animals.
In a work environment, the way you talk determines a lot of things ranging from your attitude, your building up of bond with fellow colleagues, interaction with the employer as well as customers to the employee productivity.
Moreover, with good verbal skills you can clearly communicate your ideas on a given matter to others during meetings or in a discussion group. Effective verbal communication requires clarity and concision.
This is an important factor you should always keep in mind; given that you are in a work place, you should not talk too much or talk too less. Your conversation with an individual in person or over phone, be it another employee, client or your employer, should always be compact and concise. There should be a space for the other person to talk about his ideas or thoughts too.
In addition, it is important to focus on the tone of your voice, enunciation and inflection.
Written Communication involves producing hand-written letters, invoices, receipts, memos, notices or reports. With the advancement in technology, a lot of written communication is done through computer and other data related applications and hence, we cannot restrict this form of communication to the hand-written form and the older ways of postal communication.
The queries as well as business deals, reports and minutes of a meeting are prepared in soft copies which enable those to get circulated in an easy manner.
Your ability to produce a document in a formal way is assessed through your written communication. It is always advisable to refrain from the use of informal language when dealing with the documents and reports of a company.
Many a times, certain companies and employers prefer hand-written documents for the reasons of confidentiality.
Through written or verbal forms, you can communicate with a person or a company through electronic media like Internet or Computer. It is a type of professional communication in which you are required to respond, compose or send emails and other official data through different electronic means.
It also includes the use of social media marketing groups, video conferencing, instant messaging, phone calls or fax in order to transmit information or messages. You will have to take care of the language used while handling these electronic devices. In addition, your hard skills on operating electronic media also play an important role in this type of communication.
Apart from the verbal use of language, your role as an employee also needs attention to the different non-verbal communication methods. This includes your body language, haptic communication, graphic communication, your role as a listener, your reflections about different aspects or ideas, your attire in a work place, olfactory communication.
Your body language reflects your personality. Many times, you are evaluated on the basis of your performance in a social environment and more importantly, the way you behave with others. This not only includes you verbal way, but also your body language.
Communicating via your body means factors like eye contact, hand gestures, sitting posture, your expressions and the way you react through your features to a subject of importance. Eye contact shows your interest about the matter being discussed or told by the other person.
It shows that you are not distracted and is paying attention. Similarly, our actions show our thoughts and hence, you can look confident through your postures and gestures while attending a meeting or participating in a discussion.
In certain situations, a touch is more comforting and expressive than words. This is where we can understand the relevance of haptic communication. Specially required in service like education or health care, the primary aim of this type of communication is comforting or assurance.
Teachers use to pat students as a way of appreciation or comforting. Similarly, in case of doctors, this communication is assuring in times of emergency or dealing with patients.
In an office job environment, the way you interact with others through haptic communication establishes many healthy relationships between you and them. Your touch expresses your feelings and respect for the other person.
Using graphic elements like symbols, images or charts, you can create, produce and distribute material incorporating images and words to convey data and information. These symbols and images can give data universally, irrespective of literate or illiterate people.
This is one of the important uses of communicating using pictures because others can understand this without learning to read or write the language. The best example is the traffic symbols which are universal.
These images make it easy to capture information and visually appealing. A lot of professionals like teachers, doctors, data experts, logistic experts use this kind of communication.
A conversation or communication can be said as effective and successful only when there is listening and speaking. What is different in communication is that it is two-way rather than one-way.
Your role as a listener shows your respect for other individuals and reflects qualities like patience. It proves how good a communicator you are.
The activity of listening can be expressed through your body language. Moreover, in group discussions you have to pay attention to what the other person speaks, ask for clarifications and can ensure being an active participant of the process.
It shows how you value the opinions and ideas of others, which is important in a work environment where there is mutual dependency.
Reflecting on your Thoughts
Your role as an employee builds on mutual respect and the ability to appreciate others. The opinions and ideas of others need to be considered and thought from their perspectives which makes you a better individual and gives you a chance to understand the other person.
Apart from this, your thoughts on a matter need to be organized in a way to make them coherent for others. It is your duty to clarify about what you are speaking. Your flow of thoughts when pronounced without a proper shape may result in incomprehensibility.
Hence, you have to think before speaking and communicate in a way organizing the relevant points or ideas about the subject matter.
Dressing for Work Place
The way to present yourself also shows your personality and dignifies your position. There are institutions where the way your dress is not a matter of concern. However, to some point, it can help in creating a good impression about you.
Moreover, in certain jobs your attire is decided on the basis of work place safety and standard of dealing with customers or clients. The qualities like discipline are often associated with the way you dress.
Mostly used in the case of animals, olfactory communication identifies the person through the sense of smell. This is in a way connected to how you present yourself. You cannot be impressive if you do not smell good.
In fact, different smells are said to express different personalities. There is production of fragrances or scents in the form of perfumes to make you attractive. In companies related to food or health, appearing shabby or having a bad smell, can really affect your job. It can also affect your relationship with the colleagues.
For people with special care and needs, there is a requirement for special assistance and special ways of communication. The most popular script form for the blind people is Braille. We can also communicate through sign language or gestures.
Named after Louis Braille, this is a form of writing used for and by visually impaired people. Nowadays, we can find Braille scripted text books for students, cash notes and so much more. This system is really helpful when communicating with visually impaired people.
They are raised dots which can be read by the sense of touch. Many services are provided in the form of Braille like conducting exams, books in libraries making it easy for visually impaired people.
Communicating using signs are not new to human beings. This was our primary method of communication and it can be seen in animals also. The universal sign language and gestures helps you to communicate with disabled people.
Even the signboards used in public and services are meant for this purpose. Students, teachers and professionals can learn as well as teach through these sign languages, making education and job opportunities inclusive for every individual.
Through the sci-fi movies of Hollywood, we are equipped with the knowledge of many international codes which were used during war times and to communicate confidential data.
These were developed by countries to discuss war strategies and are in use since those days. One of these international codes is the Morse code. Another international code is Semaphore that uses different types of flags to communicate.
Named after Samuel Morse, an inventor of telegraph, this method uses a telecommunication system through characters like dots and dashes to encode text. A unique combination of these characters represents each letter of the alphabet.
The most common distress signal is SOS – three dots, three dashes, and three dots – internationally recognized by treaty. Generally used in military training institutes, this communication system uses electronic devices and lights.
Semaphore communication is a method of communicating through flags or lights. It was used for communication between distant points like those of ship before there was telegraph or other means of communication.
In ships, fire crackers are used to give signals of danger or rescue. Different colours of flags are also used till day for giving signals in railway. These signals were transmitted usually from high towers. They are considered as visual signals.
Effective communication is important in all fields of work from service sector, office job or at war grounds. In military, ineffective communication can result in horrific dangers. Even in usual work places, your communication helps in building trust and healthy relationship among employers as well as other fellow colleagues. These skills can help you to pursue a successful career.