The types of communication we use are diverse and complex. Communication is simply the exchange of information; that information can be encoded in multifaceted and varied ways. As examples of this diversity in communication, compare the use of smoke signals, jungle drums, or flashing mirrors, to that of modern communication systems involving digital signals, microwave compressed bursts, laser beams (fiber optic), and radio-astronomy! All these methods communicate information, yet disparate encoding and decoding mechanisms are utilized, not to mention the communication medium itself (e.g., light, electrons, electricity, and radio waves). For simplicities sake, and brevity of time and space, just a handful of varied types of communication will be briefly discussed.
The first types of communication is the one used most by people of all cultures across the planet, that of verbal communication. As it applies to the business world, the business executive or manager will encounter people from different age groups, races, cultures, and gender. Distinct verbal skills may be required for each category or group. Any native speaker of American English who has encountered a British person knows that there are actually fairly large and distinct differences between U.K. English and American English. As a consequence, one of the key concepts in verbal communication is always knowing and being aware of who your target audience is; some forms of argot, slang, idiom, vernacular, and dialect are specific to only one audience group. There can also be differences between interpersonal communication and public speaking.
Types of Communication – Written
Every single day, most of us engage in the second types of communication, such as is being presented here, that of written communication. The ubiquitous nature of the cell phone has made it possible for near instantaneous communication with just about anywhere on the globe, thanks to communications satellites. How many billions of texts (written) messages are sent every hour of every day? Not only do we have the pervasive use of social networking sites, where many millions of words are written, but also in a business setting with emails, memos, reports, articles, ad infinitum. Although many people communicate through auditory methods (speaking on the phone), good writing are skills are still a sine qua non of any employment situation. Even a high school graduate has to take a written test!
A third types of communication is one that is sometimes neglected, or that many are simply uninformed on the nature of and that is non-verbal communication. All of us unconsciously use these types of communication by our eye movements, gestures, body posture, hand movements, and even with what we wear and accessories, such as jewelry. There is an entire field of communication theory called Neuro linguistic Programming (NLP) that focuses exclusively on eye movements as communicating thoughts, intents, desires, and even if someone is lying! We also use types of communication with visual signals, although this may crossover into non-verbal. This is more the area of photography, topography, signs, symbols and designs. It is really visual display in the form of TV and video signals. A good understanding of all the diverse types of communication will result in a superior communicator.