Welcome Back! How was the weekend?
In recent entries, the humans involved in the Communication Cycle were discussed. In brief review – The Communication Cycle entails a Source that encodes a message from their own context and sends it to a Receiver. The Receiver then decodes the message from within their own context.
Now, let’s look at the message itself. A message may be sent in various modes, such as speaking, writing, or signing/gestures. Once a Source encodes a message into a given mode, it is then sent through what are called Channels of Communication. Channels may be formal, informal, and unofficial. The typical use of these terms is in relation to a professional setting. For sake of this discussion, the terms will apply to everyday situations.
Formal channels refer to a message that is conveyed in a direct (face-to-face with the Receiver) manner with a high degree formal language and a high level of diplomacy. Use of this communication channel requires us to follow a more rigid set of rules and occurs most often in a professional setting or, perhaps, with elders or distant relatives. Informal channels are used to send a message in a more relaxed manner. Rules of communication still exist, but are not followed as stringently. Language is still direct, but more colloquial. This occurs most often in a social setting. Unofficial channels are indirect and consist of such interactions as gossip and “the grapevine”.
Think about the modes and channels you use to send a message. What happens when you send an unofficial message through a formal channel (For example, conveying regret with formal language or nonchalantly as a “PS” in an e-mail)? Journal about it.