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Organizational and Interpersonal Communication

Is there a difference between organizational and interpersonal communication? Communication skills are crucial to our professional and personal lives. Whether you want to talk to a friend, family member, or are trying to seal a new deal in your company’s boardroom, you should know how to think critically about your communication processes.

Communication plays a critical role in public service careers, corporate communications, sales, and management, but also between departments in organizations.

Organizational Communication

Organizational communication is about exchanging messages among individuals in a particular setting or environment with the aim of collaborating and achieving common goals. This type of connection is culturally dependent and contextual. It is how organizations constitute, present, and represent their organizational culture and climate. Organizational communication helps us to:

  • Develop work relationships

  • Plan, coordinate, and control company’s operations through management

  • Complete tasks related to specific responsibilities and roles

  • Accomplish tasks through the maintenance of regulations, procedures, and policy

There are two ways in which we can view organizational communication:

  1. Communication within organizations, and

  2. Communication as the organization.

Communication is (in one way) the exchange of messages that are relatively clear and uncomplicated. Issues arise when things become more complex and when we need to resolve conflicts (then it’s much more than just transmitting information.) For an organization to be successful, their communicators need to be skilled and competent. Organizational leaders find effective written and oral communication to be among the most sought-after skills.

What organizations need and look for are people who can accurately listen, follow and give instructions, network, get along with customers and coworkers, provide useful feedback and practical information, solve problems (critically and creatively), and work well in teams.

Interpersonal Communication

Interpersonal communication includes all forms of communicating – written, oral, and nonverbal. However, this term is usually used when referring to verbal communication between individuals (two or more) on a face-to-face, personal level. Some forms of interpersonal communication in business organizations include informal chats, employee performance reviews, formal project discussions, and staff meetings. As for the interaction with other organizations, it covers sales visits, employment interviews, and client meetings.

When does a communication process begin? It starts when an idea is formulated or fact observed by a person (the sender.) The sender then decides to take that observation, translate it into a message, and send it through a communication medium to the receiver. The receiver gets the message, interprets it, and provides feedback to the sender, saying that the message has been adequately understood.

However, there can be errors during any phase in the communication process. Misunderstandings can occur when, for example, the sender doesn’t have a bright idea of the message he wants to communicate or isn’t able to express it in the right way. Also, misunderstandings can happen when the receiver doesn’t listen carefully, understands the message differently than how the sender intended, or can’t provide feedback. When interpersonal business communication is inconsiderate, inaccurate, or unclear - valuable time is wasted. It can also alienate customers or employees and destroy the goodwill toward the overall business.

Both organizational and interpersonal communication is critical to the success of any organization, especially in growing companies. Titanium Cobra Consultants are experts in the field of organizational diagnostics, organizational design, and change management. They provide developmental support for client companies and their teams, helping them improve their business communication and increase overall productivity and work relationships.

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