What Are the Different Types of Business Communication Activities?

Osmand Vitez

Business communication activities represent the methods by which individuals transfer information among each other in an organization. All employees engage in communication, including those messages sent to other employees or to outside parties. Companies may engage in business communication activities to help train and educate individuals in how to communicate. Four common types of communication include face-to-face, electronic transmissions, personally addressed, and impersonally addressed. Activities often surround one of these methods as the most-used forms of communication.

Executives and upper managers use face-to-face communication in meetings to discuss major business issues.
Executives and upper managers use face-to-face communication in meetings to discuss major business issues.

Face-to-face business communication activities are quite common in an organization. Owners, executives, and upper managers may use this communication method frequently in meetings and gatherings to discuss major business issues. Employees may need training on face-to-face communication if they do not have experience in giving presentations or leading meetings with multiple individuals. Other types of face-to-face business communication include talking with other employees on a daily basis. Learning the jargon or other business terms is necessary to have intelligent conversation with other employees.

Employees who lack experience giving presentations may require training on face-to-face communication.
Employees who lack experience giving presentations may require training on face-to-face communication.

Electronic transmissions are those conversations that include the use of a telephone or computer. It is often necessary to train individuals on how to communicate effectively through these mediums. A major issue with telephone or e-mail conversations is not being able to indicate the tone of the message. This can lead to misunderstandings or errors in the received messages. Additionally, written messages cannot be taken back, meaning the written message may come up at some other time.

Personally addressed messages are not very common in today’s electronically based society. Business communication activities here are more formal and often require the use of specific words or messages. Employees may need extensive training here to understand the importance and style of personally addressed methods. In some cases, these letters may be extremely formal and communicate important messages to outside individuals. These messages are only as effective as the words and language used in them, making these business communication activities very important.

Impersonally written communication is the last method and often the least informative. Messages here are meant for many individuals and typically have one purpose. Business communication activities may not focus heavily on this method as it may be the most discouraged in a business. It is easy to send confusing or unimportant data to the wrong individual with a large message. Business communication activities often train individuals how to avoid these messages by creating and sending direct messages to only the intended individuals or groups.

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Discussion Comments


@alisha-- Emails are not that bad but it's not appropriate for every situation. The way I communicate at my business depends on the urgency/priority and sensitivity of the information.

For urgent and non-sensitive issues, I use direct email to the individual. For sensitive communication that is not urgent, I prefer to meet face-to-face or over the phone. Teleconferencing is also a great choice when I have to meet with multiple people in different places about something important.

@ZipLine-- Wow, that's bad. I communicate with clients through email all the time but they're very short emails where we basically compare our schedules to set up a time for a meeting. I've never had a problem like this.

I think face-to-face communication is the best way to communicate in a business. Just because we have access to electronic communication and it's easy doesn't mean that it's the best communication method.

I had a problem with my employer once because of email communication. I had emailed another employee about an issue I was experiencing with a department in the company. This employee forwarded my email to my boss who completely misunderstood what I was trying to say and basically yelled at me through another email.

This was the most frustrating and embarrassing situation I had ever been in at work. I finally went to my boss and spoke to him face-to-face. I explained myself and both of us apologized. If I had done this from the beginning, none of this confusion would have happened.

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