Messages, whether conveyed through spoken or written words, often transcend mere semantics to become rich, intricate expressions of our thoughts and emotions. This article delves into the three types of messages and how they can be used effectively in business communications.
What are the three types of messages and how can they be used effectively in business communications?
Understanding the deeper meaning of messages lies in discussing the three types of messages – primary, secondary, and auxiliary.
What are the 3 types of messages in communication?
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.
These are the explicit, surface-level content of the message. They are what’s directly stated or asked, the words themselves. Primary messages provide the foundation of communication, but they often represent just the tip of the iceberg, leaving room for interpretation and hidden meanings beneath the surface.
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.
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.
They include tone of voice, body language, facial expressions, and gestures. These can reveal much about the sender’s emotions, attitudes, and intentions, often adding layers of meaning beyond the words spoken or written.
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.
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.
Secondary messages are the non-verbal cues and subtleties that accompany the primary message. They include tone of voice, body language, facial expressions, and gestures. These can reveal much about the sender’s emotions, attitudes, and intentions, often adding layers of meaning beyond the words spoken or written.
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 messages effectively, businesses can enhance their relationships with stakeholders and achieve their communication goals.
What can our messages reveal?
In a single message, we unwittingly unveil a plethora of information that extends well beyond the surface content. Here’s a more detailed breakdown of what our messages can reveal:
- Personal Information: Our choice of words, tone, and the topics we discuss can unintentionally divulge details about ourselves. Our interests, knowledge, and values can be inferred from our shared content.
- Receiver Perception: The way we tailor our message, whether it’s formal, casual, or emotional, reflects how we perceive the recipient. Are they a colleague, a friend, a family member, or a stranger? This perception often colors the language and tone we use.
- Relationship Dynamics: Messages can be intricate indicators of the dynamics between sender and receiver. They reveal whether the relationship is built on authority, friendship, trust, or other characteristics. The power dynamics and mutual expectations can also surface in our communication.
- Emotional Attachment: The emotional weight of our messages is a clear indicator of how much the recipient means to us. Expressions of love, concern, empathy, or even indifference can subtly be woven into the text.
- Familiarity: The level of familiarity with the recipient is apparent through our language and references. Are we using shared inside jokes, personal anecdotes, formal titles, and polite language?
In essence, every message is like a multi-layered tapestry, with intricate threads of information about our identity, the perception of the person we’re communicating with, the nature of our relationship, and the depth of our emotions. It’s a reminder that communication is not solely about transmitting words but also about expressing our thoughts, feelings, and the complex connections that shape our interactions with others.
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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