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5 Types Of Team Communication

5 Types Of Team Communication

Effective team communication includesverbal communication, nonverbal communication, written communication, visual communication, andlisten.

Verbal Communication

Verbal communication is the foundation of team operation. The definition of verbal communication is simple – people must use words to exchange ideas. Moreover, many communication types exist in a team. To illustrate, some of these are meetings, briefings, presentations, discussions, and one-on-ones.


Meetings are necessary for teams to organize, assess, and decide . In fact, the survey, conducted by Harvard Business Review, revealed that teams spend an average of 23 hours per week on this activity . Meanwhile, middle managers spend even more time in meetings. At the same time, such meetings must be productive, or the team’s overall performance will decrease . To achieve it, each meeting must have a proper agenda, clearly stated roles of the participants in the process, and time limits. Moreover, people also must participate actively, thus making the process lively.


Briefings allow informing your team on a rapidly changing situation . For instance, in project management, such briefings can take the form of status reports for the team. According to some studies, “proper briefing ensures understanding and implements further actions more efficiently” . Finally, it is also important who presents the briefing and how.


Presentations are the means to demonstrate messages in a structured way . Such meetings can take many forms, starting from telecommuting to weather-mapping . Still, their main goal is to show an interlocutor a problem, a solution to it, a new pitch, or otherwise a new fact that he must consider as soon as possible. Meanwhile, “people understand 43% more information in a presentation if they see a picture, slide or graph next to it” .


Discussions are one team’s party speaking with another one’s party . In fact, it is the form to discuss ideas and find solutions to the problems. Meanwhile, a study on the subject demonstrated that a satisfactory team discussion is more productive, thus providing a more original solution.

Nonverbal Communication

Nonverbal communication is every other type of communication excluding written or spoken words. Some of the examples include gestures, facial expressions, eye contact, vocal intonation, and body languages. For effective communication, one should understand each of them and recognize its interpretation. Proper use and interpretation of nonverbal communication techniques can promote effective communication in a team.


They are relative movement of part of the body, for example, moving one’s heads- it is an indication of some agreement that I can shake my heads to indicate the opposite. According to the Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, when gestures are appropriately used during communication, they can increase people’s understanding of the message up to 60%.


These infers different feelings and attitudes during communication. For example, when I am talking to someone and he or she smiled denotes a positive nod or negative, when a pause was followed by a frown when smiles response indicates unfriendly.

From the study, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, people can interpret upto 90% others feeling by reading their facial expressions.

Body Language

These include the postures we use towards our listeners. It may indicate attention if our arms are not crossed or indicate disinterest or caution when our eyes are not focused or gesture towards the floor.

Research from the Journal of Applied Psychology reveals that the body language contributes upto 55% to the effectiveness of the communication. For example, I could have been in a bad mood, pause, place my hands on the side of the chair, lower, look down, and respond then nod in agreement to a question.

Eye contact

These are very strong and can form a gesture for hole conversation to a single listener. However, it can also arouse a listener and can also be a response of listening or lying to the people’s voice, overstimulating the gesture.

However, in a conversation where the listener is looking away, this may mean thinking or not listening. According to research from the Journal of Applied Psychology , looking at the speaker from his or her eyes can be 55% effective when answering questions, while 60% can reveal inappropriate eye contact.

Written Communication

Communication is always an indispensable action in everyday life. It can occur verbally or non orally depending on the situation or the medium used. Both written and oral communication, however, serve the purpose of sharing information, ideas, and messages amongst people. Written communication, on the other hand, involves information, ideas, and messages being exchanged among people or a party or group by written words. Other methods of written communication include emails, memos, reports, documents, and instant messages. A clear and concise form of communication must write.


An email is the most widely used form of written communication. It is used to share information, to request information, to plan, to focus, and to activate a task among many other things. Research has shown that over 300 billion emails were sent and received daily worldwide by the The Radicati Group. A short and precise headline, strike till strong, and appropriate format are important aspects of a good email. Writing informal meeting emails should always take into consideration the reader’s expectations. Therefore, the destination or email should be considered when writing the emails.


A memo is a form of written communication that organizations use to communicate important information within the organization. They can be filed for purposes of announcements, policy changes, or management communication. According to the American Management Association survey, 67% of organizations use memos to communicate within the company. A good layout for writing a performance appraisal memo is to include quick and organized responses. It is important that memos are sent to recipients on time therefore need to take action on the issue.


A report is a formal information paper that provides detailed information, analysis, and recommendations on a topic or project. Most organizations spend a large percentage of their time writing reports to monitor the progress of large and small projects, to measure performance, and to make decisions. The report should follow a format such as an executive summary, introduction, methodology, observation, and conclusion. Provides further consideration to the data, charts, and images that support the report.


A document is a collection of various writings as long as it is detailed with a title. Documents can include several manuals, procedures, policies, and guidelines written to regulate the operation of the waste company. For example, employee manuals are used to provide employees with information about company policy. According to the Society for Human Resource Management , 92% of companies have employee manuals . All documents must be accurate, up to date, and easily available to all employees or staff.

Visual Communication

Visual communication entails using images, graphics, and other visual aids to pass information, ideas, and messages. It is an effective way of making complex concepts easier to manage, engaging teams and ensuring that members understand issues more easily.


Infographics are visually enhanced tools for representing data, information, and knowledge acquisition. They are meant to provide complex information clearly and swiftly. More often than not, they are used in online resources that contain charts, icons, and text. According to HubSpot research, it can increase social media website traffic accordingly to 12% . To create one, you require previously collected data, visually appealing graphics, and a proper layout. The most commonly used software tools for generating infographics are Canva, Piktochart, and Adobe Illustrator.


Flowchart diagrams are used to represent any design or process in a form of various interconnected symbols and arrows. They are designed to help visualize and document the processes used in task accomplishment. A study by the Journal of Technical Writing and Communication found a 45% drop in error possibilities when using flowcharts . When creating flowcharts, one must make a step-by-step breakdown of an issue with designated decision points and proceed to offer a likely sequence of action. Visio, Lucidchart, and are the most popular software tools for such representation.

Mind Maps

Mind maps are designed to demonstrate the hierarchy of a set of ideas or concepts. They are often used by companies to brainstorm ideas, help with initial project designing, and organizing all of your thoughts into manageable clusters. A source from the Journal of Visual Languages and Computing claims the increased creativity possibilities, and an improvement in problem-solving abilities with the use of mind maps . There are different ways to create one, with the most common being the ability to start in the center and move to related concepts and categories. When starting with a clear image in the middle, try to shape it with colors, images, and keywords. The most effective software tools for mindmapping are MindMeister, XMind, and MindNode.


Presentations are standard visual communication tools that are meant to provide information, inspire an audience, and allow a facilitated discussion. The subject and layout of the presentation slides will depend on what needs to be said. SlideShair research argues that 35 million presentations are created with Microsoft PowerPoint on a daily basis. Making them work the way they should involves creating a bulletproof structure for the slides, attempting to keep things more visual than textual, and ultimately practicing the overall delivery. The software provides an endless number of templates and slide styles through themes whether it be a Microsoft PowerPoint, Google Slides, or Apple Keynote.

Charts and their Types

Charts and graphs are used to demonstrate and present different numerical data, such as trends or comparisons. Nielsen Norman Group research has show that numeric data with a graph in support can be understood 40% better . The examples of these are bar charts, line graphs, pie charts, and scatter plots. The process of their construction involve selecting the appropriate type of graph, creating a layout for axes and units, and proceeding to add colors and styles of the tools for higher reading clarity. Software for charts are, but not limited to, Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, and Tableau.


Listening is a crucial component of any communication, including within teams. Active listening implies an attentive hearing to the perspective, ideas, or feelings of others on the team without imposing judgment or interruption. This results in a nurturing environment for building relationships in the teams.

Active Listening

Active listening is a communication practice that involves concentration, understanding, responding to and, at best, retaining what the other person is talking about. According to the studies published in the International Journal of Listening, active listening results in better relations among people and solutions to conflicts. It can be carried out by holding eye contact, nodding, waiting for the other person to pause to make comments or ask questions, and refraining from interruptions or judgment. Ultimately, this results in respect and value for the other person on the part of the listener .

Empathetic Listening

Living in the shoes of the other is critical for building relationships in teams. Being an empathetic listener means being able to “feel” the other person and adopting their side of the story. As described in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, practicing empathetic listening results in a better level of trust, rapport, and cooperation in the team. To enable this, listeners should first acknowledge or validate the emotions of the others, then ask open questions to get to the extent of these emotions, and finally offer support or encouragement to feel less frustrating or stressed. A final practice involves the use of appropriate body language such as looking directly at the other person.

Reflective Listening

Reflective listening is the practice of mirroring back the ideas or emotions of the other person. This helps assure the other person that the information is not misunderstood and that the other person is heard and understood by the listener. According to a study by the Journal of Counseling Psychology, reflective listening increases the effectiveness of communication and satisfaction with relations. The best practices are to relay or rephrase the content of what the other person has said, to review the key points at the discussion, and to comment on what feelings or problems the other person may have.

Nonverbal Cues

Nonverbal cues are signals provided by the other person’s gestures, body or language, or attitude that go without being said. It is mentioned in the research by the Journal of Nonverbal Behavior that nonverbal cues account for about 93% of successful communication. Good practices are to listen to the tone or pitch of the other person, to notice the other person’s facial expressions and other body movements. This results in the evaluation of the feelings or attitudes of the other person.

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