Communication that takes place among any employees on the same organizational level, is called lateral communication. It is also known as horizontal communication. In today’s dynamic environment, horizontal communications are frequently needed to save time and facilitate coordination.
‘Lateral communication is "the exchange, imparting or sharing of information, ideas or feelings between people within a community, peer groups, departments or units of an organization who are at or about the same hierarchical level as each other for the purpose of coordinating activities, efforts or fulfilling a common purpose or goal".’
This is a form of communication which takes place between the same organizational levels, in the same or different department. For instance, communication, done between different areas of function like communication between the finance department’s manager and the marketing department’s manager.
It is one of the most essential communication skills. Horizontal communication facilitates teamwork and proper coordination in group efforts within an organization or a group. Generally, it is less formal and structured than vertical communication.
Lateral communication can occur as telephone calls, memos, letters, e-mails, gossip, informal discussions, meetings, videoconferencing, and teleconferencing, planned by the group.
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