Whether you’re communicating with family members, a church group or business colleagues, knowing the various types of team communication can make your message more effective and can nurture happy, productive team members.


Verbal communication is anything spoken directly from the mouth of the leader or members of the team. This can include statements, presentations and feedback. Verbal communication is the No. 1 way most teams attempt to understand one another and be understood.


Nonverbal communication is anything that sends a message without words. For example, if your boss verbally communicates that she is happy with your performance and then starts to decrease your hours at work, the nonverbal communication contradicts her verbal statement. Nonverbal communication can produce a lot of confusion, frustration and misunderstanding if it isn’t consistent with the verbal communication.


Feedback is an opportunity for those involved in the team to express their ideas, frustrations and praise. Teams that permit feedback have a much healthier culture and team dynamic. Feedback can be either formal or informal. For example, formal feedback is when a leader of a team asks team members to fill out a comment form. Informal feedback is when team members voluntarily give advice, opinion or suggestions.


A less common type of team communication is the presentation. A presentation is when a smaller group within the team collaborates to create an explanation or argument for education or change. This is commonly seen in large businesses where a department will create a presentation to share with leadership.


Debate is a healthy form of team communication that encourages members to disagree and challenge various issues and norms. This enables the members to explore new ideas and provides time for expression, feedback and healthy change. Debate is used primarily in brainstorming sessions.