What is Official Communication?
Official communication or formal communication is the name given to the type of exchange of information. It takes place within a formal or official place between colleagues or with higher-ranked officials. Official Communication helps to maintain a professional, healthy workplace environment, as required and directed by the organization. Official communication follows definite communication rules. It is controlled by the chain of command that follows all the rules of the organization. There are various ways in which the information and orders are passed on based on the hierarchy of the company. It is essential to maintain the hierarchy in official communication without being disrespectful to anyone.
Types of Official Communication
According to the direction of the flow of information within the workplace or organization, official communication can be categorized into different types.
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Downward Communication is a type of official communication where information is passed down from the management level or the highest level of hierarchy to the subordinate levels or the lower levels of the official system.
The information that flows down through downward communication includes mostly orders, instructions, and circulars. This type of information may either be verbal or may be transferred through reports, emails, letters, manuals, or directives.
Upward Communication, as the name suggests, is the opposite of downward communication which is used when information has to be sent from the lower levels or the subordinate level to the higher or the management level of organization. The information transferred through this method mostly includes reports, requests, grievances, complaints, suggestions, etc.
Horizontal or Lateral Communication
Horizontal or lateral communication methods are the types of official communication techniques used when the flow of information is within or between co-workers or colleagues. The information remains within the same level of official hierarchy.
Diagonal or Crosswise Communication
This type of communication takes place when the employees of different levels of the official hierarchy communicate with different departments of the same office or organization. This type of communication is not limited to any department. It is inclusive of all levels.
Q1. What is the Official Communication Network?
Answer: To understand the process or pattern in which official or formal communication takes place, we must understand what the official communication network is. The official communication network is the pattern of how people of a formal community interact with each other.
There Are Several Types of Official Communication Networks. They Can Be Classified Into the Following Categories.
This is a centralized form of official communication where all the information flows from one central person like the leader to the subordinate members. The other members, except the leader, have little to no input in the flow of information.
In this type of official communication, the information either flow up or down the official hierarchy. Here, a person gets information and passes it on to the immediate superior or junior, and the chain follows.
It is a decentralized form of communication where the information is shared equally among the members present. Here, each person receives and gives information equally, and all have an equal chance to participate.
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In this type of official communication, everyone is connected and information can flow freely without any order. It is the most decentralized form of official communication. Everyone is connected and can freely communicate without any inhibition.
The Inverted V Communication or Y communication is a pattern of official communication where the subordinate is allowed to speak to their immediate superior and the superior of their superior, simultaneously.
Hence, there are several types and patterns of ‘Official Communication’ existing in the official hierarchy. It is essential to learn about them to strive in the official community.
Did You Know?
It is suggested not to use Whatsapp or any such social media to transfer official information. It is best to send official documents over mail unless specifically asked not to.
Whatsapp is not considered as an official application over which you can send important official documents and data. You should send only relevant information over the mail. Be polite and respectful of whoever you are sending it to. It is also preferable not to share bad news over email. Always do it in person or over the phone.