1.The most prominent quality of a human being is the effective and meaningful way of communication. Humans have a unique and well developed way of imparting or interchanging thoughts, opinions, or information by speech, writing, or signs. Communication is well established but not only limited among humans but also in animals and in manmade machines such as computers Communication
2.The word communications comes from a Latin word “Communis ” which means to share. One definition of communication is “any act by which one person gives to or receives from another person information about that person’s needs, desires, perceptions, knowledge, or affective states. Communication may be intentional or unintentional, may involve conventional or unconventional signals, may take linguistic or nonlinguistic forms, and may occur through spoken or other modes. ” Styles of Communication
3.There can be two broad categories of communication, based on the style of communication. They are categorized as formal and informal communications that have their own set of characteristic features. For simplicity of understanding, it just depends on the situation and the organization or a person involved in that chain of communication. If some high ranking officials or personalities are involved or some prestigious organizations are addressed, the content and the matter of the communication will be formal in its language and formatting. For example our correspondence or letters to the Air Headquarters will differ in wording and format from a note that we scribble on a draft piece of paper an email that we write to our everyday friends.
4.There are numerous situations in our daily life that involve lot of correspondence and communication. However, where no high ranking agencies or personalities are involved in that chain, the communication styles and format used can be quite informa.
5.There are specific requirements and some general rules as to how and when there is a need of a formal or an informal way of communication. There are both benefits and ill effects of the two kinds of communications. For further elaboration both the situations are debated. Formal Communication
6.Formal communication includes all situations where communication has to occur in a set formal format. This can include all sorts of business communication, corporate communication or government official communication. The style of communication in this form is very formal and official. Official conferences, meetings and written memos and corporate letters are used for communication. When two people meet for the first time, the way they communicate with each other can also be utterly formal. Hence formal communication is straightforward, official and always precise and has a stringent and rigid tone to it. Communication takes place through the formal channels of the organization structure along the lines of authority established by the management. Such communications are generally in writing and may take any of the forms, policy, manuals, procedures and rule books, memoranda, official meetings, reports, etc.
7.Advantages of Formal CommunicationThere are definitely some advantages of formal communication: (a)They help in the fixation of responsibility and (b)Maintaining of the authority relationship in an organization
8.Disadvantages of Formal Communication (a)It is generally time consuming, cumbersome and (b)Sometimes it leads to a good deal of distortion at times
9.For simplicity of understanding communication arising out of all those channels of communication that fall outside the formal channels is known as informal communication. Informal communication includes instances of free unrestrained communication between people who share a casual rapport with each other. Generally it is built around the everyday social relationship of members of an organization. Informal communication requires two people to have a similar wavelength and hence occurs between friends and family. At times, in informal communication, it is difficult to fix responsibility about accuracy of information. Such communication is usually oral and may be covered even by simple glance, gesture or smile or silence. It often works in group of people, i.e. when one person has some information of interest; he passes it on to his informal group and so on.
10.Informal communication does not have any rigid rules and guidelines. Informal conversations need not necessarily have boundaries of time, place or even subjects for that matter since we all know that friendly chats with our loved ones can simply go on and on.
11.Advantages of Informal CommunicationSome of the advantages of Informal communication are: (a)It acts as a valuable purpose in expressing certain information that cannot be channeled via the official channels (b)Informal communication also facilitates to ameliorate managerial decisions as more people are involved in the process of decision-making
12.Disadvantages of Informal CommunicationInspite of many advantages, informal communication has certain disadvantages: (a)Informal communication contains facts, deceptions, rumors and unclear data. (b)The informal channels of communication may transmit completely imprecise information that may harm rather than help an organization.