Discussion Post. Informal Communication
The context of informal communication makes the dynamics of each communication unique. I agree that informal communication involves the interchange of information at an unofficial capacity. However, this argument speaks to a presumption of the understanding of the information by the recipient. For instance, the abbreviations used in texting largely assume that the recipient of the text will understand the message. On the other hand, when addressing someone without the knowledge of the meaning of the abbreviations used, the result is confusion. A physician may use the abbreviations “tid” or “bid” with a nurse or others in the healthcare field, but not with a patient. Many favor personal communication, achieved through face-to-face interaction or through interactive social media such as Skype, because it allows one to evaluate the subtle facial expressions, body language and gestures that give context to the communication, whether formal or informal (Schwarz, 2014). Without proper context, informal communication may be open to numerous interpretations.
Informal communication is versatile and can flow in any given direction within an organization. I agree that it does not need to follow organizational structure. However, it must not undermine organizational policy. In many organizations, informal communication is the tool of choice used for disarming and breaking tension in the workplace. However, the information is not always versatile. Most of the time the information passed in informal forums are meant for interpretation in a particular way (Welch, 2012).
Rumour-mongering causes misunderstandings that undermine the purpose of informal communication. I agree that such informal forums should be managed properly. Formal or informal communication should take into account workplace jargon, slang, or common abbreviations. For instance, if I am sending an email to a coworker in another department, it is inappropriate to use slang that I should only employ when communicating with my close friends as this may create unnecessary confusion or bring about misunderstandings.
Schwarz, N. (2014). Cognition and communication: Judgmental biases, research methods, and the logic of conversation. Psychology Press.
Welch, M. (2012). Appropriateness and acceptability: Employee perspectives of internal communication. Public Relations Review, 38(2), …