Q:

What are the advantages of informal communication?

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Quick Answer

Informal communication facilitates a collaborative environment, letting all involved in the communications process have a chance of voicing their opinions. Informal communication takes place in offices, homes and social settings every day. It can involve anywhere from two people to a large group and may occur naturally or be called upon as a negotiation tactic by professionals to settle disputes.

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Informal communication essentially acts as a democratic system on a small scale. Among individuals engaged in informal communications, power is shared equally among participants, and there is very rarely a central figure, such as a boss, who leads and dictates conversation. Informal communication lets the process of discussion take a natural course, without having to adhere to strict time deadlines or follow a predetermined pattern of speakers. Informal communication is used as a dispute resolution tactic in the legal field, where it serves as an effective method, in terms of finance and times, to give disputing parties a chance to sit down and attempt to find a mutually satisfactory agreement without having to settle their arguments in court. Informal communication lets communicants learn from each other and stimulates natural discussion without timetables, spreadsheets, notepads and other formal, and sometimes intimidating, communications tools.

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