Different Dimensions Of Communication (Part 1)

Communication, from the beginning of the civilization, is a crucial skill that bridges the gap between individuals and groups. Especially, every project manager should make the most of the use of communication in their work.

Internal and External Communication

Internal communication is information exchange within the organization. Messages can be exchanged via personal contact, telephone, e-mail, intranet (the website accessible only by employees). Internal communication as a way of information exchange within the organization can be vertical, horizontal and diagonal. Internal communication helps employees in performing their work, developing a clear sense of organizational mission and identifying and promptly dealing with potential problems. While in internal communication information flow goes upwards, downwards, horizontally and diagonally within the organizational structure, in external communication the information exchange goes both within the organization and outside of it. Organizations communicate with the outside world daily. As a matter of fact, external communication can be both formal and informal.

Formal and Informal Communication

While formal communication includes reports, presentations, and media releases, which is usually planned and takes some time to prepare. Informal communication, on the other hand, does not need to be planned and usually starts by simply by using social networking. Effective project managers should make use of both types since informal communication is just as important as the formal one. 

Vertical, Horizontal and Diagonal Communication

Communication can also be categorized as vertical, horizontal, or diagonal. This view is more about the way an organization is structured. Vertical communication is the upward and downward communication that happens between different levels of the organization itself, while horizontal communication refers to communication between people at the same organizational level. Diagonal communication, however, takes place between different functional divisions of the organization. It has become more important as matrix and project-based organizations have now become more and more common. To be effective in these types of organizations, a project manager has to be familiar with the different functions and managers within the organization and then plan his communications accordingly.

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