When deafness has touched your life, you become especially aware of communication - an area of human interaction that is frequently taken for granted. Everyone should be aware that it is not just the message you are communicating but also the method by which you are communicating it that forms an impression on the recipient. Therefore you should use different methods in communicating with strangers and your own family. This article will outline the difference between formal and informal communication.
In formal communication, all of your messages and the methods by which you communicate them need to follow a specific set of rules and formats. For instance, if you need to write a business proposal, you would type it up on white paper with the proper headings and the special technical and business language to describe your ideas. Most formal communication is written, but you may also use it verbally in telephone conversations, discussions, and presentations. Its aim is not just to communicate information but also to portray you in a professional light.
The defining factor in formal communication, however, is not necessarily the method of communication or the content of the message but the language you use to express it. In formal communication, you would always refer to a woodworking machinery supplier by his title and last name. You would not use common expressions or even contractions in many cases, and you would write out your plans without using the first and second person perspectives. Failing to follow these rules of professional communication could lead to problems with your boss and even to your dismissal.
If formal communication, then, is defined by its adherence to rules, informal communication is defined by its lack of them. When you communicate informally, you're not worried about looking professional. You're probably also not talking about serious topics either. More likely you're talking about family events, asking someone to bring milk home, arranging to meet up with a friend, or reporting on how your week has gone to someone who cares about you. You're able to let your guard down and let people see you as a person rather than a representative of a company.
There are many ways to communicate informally. You can have a conversation, leave a quick note on the fridge about picking up items, send an email or a text message, or even draw a picture. Unlike in formal communication, most informal communication is not planned. It just flows naturally from a situation in which two people are connecting. You can sometimes communicate informally at work, especially with friendly co-workers, but it is not a good idea to communicate informally with bosses or clients unless you know them well.
You can visit Study.com to learn more about these two types of communication techniques.