- Communication is critical to the success of any business.
- The means through which information flows within and beyond the organisation are referred to as communication channels.
- Communication can be professional or casual, and it can occur horizontally, vertically, or in a one-way or two-way fashion.
Horizontal (Lateral) Communication
- Communication between people on the same level or department within an organization
- It helps in sharing information, knowledge and resolving issues among colleagues.
- It is essential for teamwork, problem-solving, and decision-making within a department.
Example: Two marketing executives discussing strategies for a new product launch.
- It promotes collaboration and teamwork.
- It helps in resolving conflicts among team members.
- It ensures timely exchange of information and promotes innovation.
- It can lead to the development of cliques or subgroups within the department.
- It may lead to the exclusion of other departments from decision-making processes.
- Communication between different levels of management within an organization.
- It involves information flowing either upwards (from subordinates to superiors) or downwards (from superiors to subordinates).
- It helps in the efficient flow of information and decision-making within the organization.
- Vertical communication can be upward or downward
- Upward communication refers to the flow of information from lower-level employees to higher-level management.
- This type of communication can help to identify problems, provide feedback on policies and procedures, and offer suggestions for improvement.
- For example, an employee may provide feedback to their manager about issues with a particular process or suggest a new approach to improve efficiency.
- Downward communication refers to the flow of information from higher-level management to lower-level employees.
- This type of communication can help to communicate organizational goals and objectives, provide instructions for tasks and projects, and inform employees about changes in policies and procedures.
- For example, a manager may communicate new procedures to their team or provide guidance on a specific project.
- It ensures that information and decisions are communicated effectively throughout the organization.
- It helps in maintaining a clear chain of command.
- It provides a platform for feedback and recognition.
- It can lead to a lack of transparency and information asymmetry.
- It may lead to delays in decision-making due to bureaucracy.
- Communication in which information flows in only one direction.
- It is often used for conveying instructions, rules, or regulations.
- There is no room for feedback or clarification.
Example: An employer providing instructions to an employee.
- It is quick and efficient in conveying information.
- It is useful for situations where there is no need for feedback or clarification.
- It can lead to misunderstandings due to the lack of feedback or clarification.
- It does not promote collaboration or teamwork.
- Communication in which information flows in both directions.
- It is essential for effective feedback, conflict resolution, and decision-making.
- It encourages interaction and collaboration among team members.
Example: A team meeting where everyone can give feedback and suggestions.
- It ensures that there is a clear understanding of information.
- It promotes collaboration, innovation, and teamwork.
- It provides an opportunity for feedback and clarification.
- It can be time-consuming and lead to delays in decision-making.
- It may lead to a lack of transparency if feedback is not acted upon.
- Communication channels are critical for enabling successful communication both inside and outside of the organisation.
- Businesses must determine the best communication channels to use in various situations.
- Horizontal, vertical, one-way, and two-way communication routes all have advantages and disadvantages, and the best one for each case must be chosen.
- Teamwork, decision-making, and accomplishing organisational goals all require effective communication.