Formal vs. Informal Communication

What is Communication? When you think of communication, what is the first thing that comes to mind? What role does communication play in our everyday lives? Researchers have conducted numerous studies on communication and how it is used all around the world. First, let’s discuss the definition of communication. From the textbook, Leadership Communication, communication is defined as the transmission of meaning from one person to another or many people, whether verbally or nonverbally (Barrett, 2011, p. ). Communication from one person to another is often called the “rhetorical situation,” which is commonly depicted as a simple triangle consisting of the context, the sender, the message, and the receiver (Barrett, 2011, p. 5). The definition of communication, in terms of leadership, is the ability for leaders to put out information that is clear and concise to which their subordinates and peers will be able to comprehend.
Barrett defines leadership communication as the controlled, purposeful transfer of meaning by which individuals influence a single person, a group, an organization, or a community by using the full range of their communication abilities and resources to connect positively with their audiences, overcome interferences, and create and deliver messages that guide, direct, motivate, or inspire others to action (Barrett, 2011, p. 6). There are several meanings that has been studied and written by researchers and scholars to describe communication. Communication is used in many fields of study that would differ in its characteristics and content.
The way that you would communicate at home with family and friends would differ in the workplace with your bosses and co-workers. Thus far, we have covered the terminology of communication; the next topic of discussion is the two forms of communication: Formal and Informal. We start off by asking ourselves, what is the difference between formal and informal communication? People every day use formal and informal communication on the daily basis. For most of us it is second-nature, almost as if we are immune or equipped, or just simply common practice.

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