Types of Messages in Communication

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What are the three types of messages and how can they be used effectively in business communications?

Messages often go beyond mere semantics. In a single message, we let on more information than we know. This information includes details about ourselves, the receiver of the message, and the relationship between us. We also show how much the receiver means to us and the extent of familiarity between us.

What are the 3 types of messages in communication?

Understanding the deeper meaning of messages lies in discussing the three types of messages – primary, secondary, and auxiliary.

Primary message

We have a lot of control over how we pass our primary message. A primary message is intentional and can be verbal or non-verbal. The words we choose to say and how we say them constitute our primary message.

For example, you may say, “give me the book” to a friend. This is your primary message. It’s short, direct, and simple enough for easy understanding.

Secondary message

Here, we have little control. A secondary message is unintentional and can be verbal or non-verbal. Others around may make negative or positive deductions from your intentional message. This can be based on dress, physical qualities, age, gender, or race.

After you say, “give me the book,” your friend may get a message from an inscription on your tee shirt referring to your alma mater.

Auxiliary message

Here, we refer to the intentional and unintentional ways we communicate the primary message. For example, our posture, gestures, and speed while passing our message can influence how the receiver interprets it.

After saying, “give me the book,” do you turn to your friend and stretch your hands towards them? Do you keep reading the one in your hands? Do you get up and walk over to pick up the book yourself? Your auxiliary message could be, “I need that book right now!”. It could also be, “I don’t need it urgently but I want to have it with me.”

How can they be used effectively in business communications?

Effective business communication requires a clear understanding of the purpose and audience of each message. Informative messages should be clear, concise, and tailored to the audience. Persuasive messages should be structured logically and presented compellingly, and goodwill messages should be warm, sincere, and personalized. By using these types of messages effectively, businesses can enhance their relationships with stakeholders and achieve their communication goals.

Check the following reference articles to learn more about the types of messages in communication

1. Ecampusontario.pressbooks.pub. 2020. Messages. (URL)

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