Communication: Definition of Communication by Authors, Types of Communication

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Communication Meaning 

Communication is the exchange of meanings between persons or groups using some signals that are called communications. It is the exchange of information, ideas, or thoughts between individuals or groups through a common arrangement of symbols, signs, or actions. 

It involves transmitting and receiving messages via multiple channels, such as vocal, nonverbal, written, and visual communication. Effective communication requires a simple expression of ideas and active listening to understand the message being conveyed. 

Communication Definitions

John Adair says that communication is essentially the ability of one person to make contact with another and make himself or herself understood. 

William Newman and Charles Sumner say that communication is an exchange of ideas, facts, opinions or emotions between two or more people.

Communication can be defined as a process by means of which a person is in contact with another through a message, and expects the latter of a response, be an opinion, activity or behavioral -Albert Martinez.

Communication is a way to establish contact with others through ideas, facts, thoughts and behaviours, looking for a reaction to the statement that has been sent – Abraham Nosnik

Idalberto Chiavenato says that “Communication is the process of passing information and understanding from one person to another. Therefore, all communication influences at least two people: the one who sends the message and the one who receives it “

Communication can take place in different contexts, such as personal relationships, business settings, education, and entertainment. It is an essential skill that plays a crucial role in building relationships, resolving conflicts, making decisions and achieving goals 

Communication is divided into two broad categories: formal and informal.

When discussion partners are members of a group, organization, or society, 

communication definition

Formal communication occurs, and there are three types: vertical, horizontal, and diagonal.

Informal communication is less formal and might take place between friends or coworkers.

To minimize misunderstandings and enhance interest when speaking, effective communication is vital in personal and professional interactions.

4 Types of Communication

There are four different ways to categorize types of communication. Some common types include:

  1. Verbal communication
  2. Written communication
  3. Nonverbal communication
  4. Visual communication

Verbal communication

Verbal communication refers to the use of spoken or written words to express ourselves and convey information to others. This way of communication allows us to connect with people around us, build relationships, and express our thoughts and feelings effectively.

Types of Verbal Communication

There are four main types of communication: 

  • Interpersonal, 
  • Intrapersonal, 
  • Small group communication, 
  • Public communication

Intrapersonal communication

It is communication with oneself using internal vocalization or reflective thinking. It occurs only inside our heads and is triggered by some internal or external stimulus.

Intrapersonal communication serves several social functions, such as helping us achieve or maintain social adjustment, building and maintaining our self-concept, and facilitating social interaction.

So we use intrapersonal communication or “self-talk” to let off steam, process emotions, think through something, or rehearse what we plan to say or do in the future.

Intrapersonal communication

It is not created with the intention that another person will perceive it.

Interpersonal communication is communication between people whose lives mutually influence one another. This type of communication can be planned or unplanned, but since it is interactive, it is usually more structured and influenced by social expectations than intrapersonal communication.

Interpersonal communication is also more goal-oriented than intrapersonal communication and fulfills instrumental and relational needs.

Instances of miscommunication and communication conflict most frequently occur in interpersonal communication.

Small group communication

It consists of three or more individuals who communicate to achieve a shared goal.

Small group communication is interactive and often involves more complex communication than interpersonal communication.

Small group communication is influenced by roles, norms, and power dynamics within the group.

Effective small-group communication requires skills such as active listening, constructive feedback, and conflict resolution.

Public communication

It is where you have one speaker and a large audience. Public communication is sender focused and typically occurs when a person conveys information to an audience.

This type of communication can be formal or informal and can occur in various contexts, such as speeches, presentations, or performances. Effective public communication requires skills, such as audience analysis, message organization, and delivery techniques.

Written communication

It is a formal and organized way of exchanging messages between two or more people using words, sentences, and paragraphs encoded in text. 

Emails, text messages, business letters, reports, proposals, and academic writing are all examples of written communication.

Basically, written communication is more formal than verbal communication. Because it requires the writer to take more time to realize what they write. It has many advantages, including high accuracy, clarity, efficiency, and documentation.

Nonverbal communication

Nonverbal communication refers to the transfer of information without using words. In simple, we can say that nonverbal communication is the process of conveying emotions and feelings without words.

Here are the best examples of nonverbal communication, including smiling to convey friendliness and openness, crossing arms to signal defensiveness or discomfort, maintaining eye contact to show interest or attentiveness, and using hand gestures to emphasize a point.

Nonverbal communication is an important part of effective communication and also of building relationships.

Visual communication

It is the use of visual elements to convey information and ideas. Visual communication is the technique of conveying information, ideas, or emotions through graphics, such as images, symbols, typography, and graphics.

Together with verbal and nonverbal communication, it is one of the three primary modes of communication. Visual communication is useful in a variety of applications, including advertising, business, education, and entertainment.

It has been used by humans since prehistoric times and is one of the most important approaches for people to communicate and share information.

Presentations, infographics, charts & graphs, typography, drawings, photography, movies, maps, diagrams, and signs are all examples of visual communication.


These are used to explain plans, strategies, products, or ideas to customers, stakeholders, or students.

Infographics are great for presenting complex information quickly and clearly.

Charts and graphs

This is great for showing relationships between variables or different sets of data.


It is the art of arranging type to make written language legible, readable and appealing when displayed.


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