What is communication?

Communication within a business can be defined as being internal, external, vertical, horizontal, formal and informal

Communication is about passing messages between people or organisations. Messages between a sender and receiver take place using a medium such as email or phone.

One-way communication is when the receiver cannot respond to a message. Two-way communication is when the receiver can respond to a message. This allows confirmation the message has been both received and understood.

Types of communication

There are a number of technical terms you need to learn:

  • internal communications happen within the business
  • external communications take place between the business and outside individuals or organisations
  • vertical communications are messages sent between staff belonging to different levels of the organisation hierarchy
  • horizontal communications are messages sent between staff on the same level of the organisation hierarchy
  • formal communications are official messages sent by an organisation, eg a company memo, fax or report
  • informal communications are unofficial messages not formally approved by the business, eg everyday conversation or gossip between staff
  • a channel of communication is the path taken by a message