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Formal Communication Channels

The system of official channels that carry organizationally approved messages and information

Downward Communication

Communication that flows from higher to lower levels in an organization

Destructive Feedback

Feedback that disapproves without any intention of being helpful and almost always causes a negative or defensive reaction in the recipient

Upward Communication

Communication that flows from lower to higher levels in an organization

Horizontal Communication

Communication that flows between managers and workers who are on the same organizational level


The act or process of perceiving sound

Informal Communication Channel (Grapevine)

The transmission of a message from employee to employee outside of formal communication channels


Communicating with someone for the direct purpose of improving the person's on-the-job performance or behavior


Communicating with someone about non-job-related issues that may be affecting or interfering with the person's performance

Communication Medium

The method used to deliver and oral or written message

Constructive Feedback

Feedback intended to be helpful, corrective, and/or encouraging

Collaborative Discussion Sites

Web or software-based discussion tools that allow employees to ask questions and share knowledge

Company Hotlines

Phone numbers that anyone in the company can call anonymously to leave information for upper management

Nonverbal Communication

Any communication that doesn't involve words


Movements of the body and face


The pitch, rate, tone, volume, and speaking pattern of one's voice


Making a conscious effort to hear

Active Listening

Assuming half the responsibility for successful communication by actively giving the speaker nonjudgmental feedback that shows you've accurately heard what he or she said

Empathetic Listening

Understanding the speaker's perspective and personal frame of reference and giving feedback that conveys that understanding to the speaker

Televised/Videotaped Speeches and Meetings

Speeches and meetings originally made to a smaller audience that are either simultaneously broadcast to other locations in the company or videotaped for subsequent distribution and viewing

Organizational Silence

When employees withhold information about organizational problems or issues

Survey Feedback

Information that is collected from surveys given to organizational members and then compiled, disseminated, and used to develop action plans for improvement


A personal website that provide personal opinions or recommendations, news summaries, and reader comments

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