A business must conduct communication effectively, and sometimes swiftly, to ensure maximum results. In any business, communication is the very basic skill that almost all employees must possess to keep everyone. Business communication can be formal or informal and in oral or written form.
Formal Versus Informal
When communicating in a business setting, identifying the proper form of communication is crucial. For instance, in a meeting, a memo alone would not suffice. In this setting, a speech is a more appropriate form of communication. In a group meeting, it would not be in the best interest of the company for everyone present to bring agendas, but not speak about the tasks at hand. Identifying the proper form of communication before entering a business setting ensures an effective and positive communication experience.
In any business, written communication plays a huge role. It is a great way to document a conversation or idea, and you can easily share it among staff. Provide written communication through a computer or on paper. Some common forms are email, agendas, reports, memos, and instant messages sent using instant-messaging programs. Although written communication is important, employees can overlook, misread or possibly misinterpret it. It also is costly and provides slower feedback than other communication forms.
Oral communication in a business is generally face-to-face communication or some form of telephonic conversation. It allows for immediate feedback and is essential for group work. It is effective for sharing private or privileged information and allows for a more flexible message. Unfortunately, it can lead to he said/she said situations and be difficult to document. It can seem less authentic, and some may consider it too lengthy.
Grapevine communication -- "water cooler talk" or gossip -- spreads a message to multiple people through a number of sources. For instance, one person may overhear the CEO of a company talking on the phone about budget cuts. This person may then tell a coworker what he heard, which could lead to an interpretation of upcoming firings. Although most businesses discourage the spreading of rumors in the workplace, sharing of information can sometimes make a staff feel closer together. When dealing with important or privileged information, always avoid the grapevine method of communication.