Managing Project Communication
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by Arindam Ghosh
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Organizational Communications Patterns

Top Down Communication or Vertical Communication

Within an organization, the communication comes from the top management or it is executive to all employees in the organization.

For Example:

Annual Communication Plan session by Chairman and Managing Director Explaining Company’s impending plan and seeking everyone’s cooperation and support to achieve it or PM sending down communication to its team with regard to project performance or individual performance

Horizontal Communication

This is the communication across the same level executives managing a function or project or an activity.


VP (Engineering) or VP (Projects) is communicating with VP (HR), VP (Finance), VP (Logistics) or PM of one team communicating with other functional managers in the same level or among other PM's within the company.

Lateral Communication

Lateral communication happens between two managers of the same level within a group or department or among a function. It is one level communication. Please see the illustration and its explanation below.

Bottom-up Communication

Bottom-up communication goes from the bottom level employees in the organizational framework. To give an example, a manager sends his proposal for approval to his VP (Engg. or Finance or HR marketing). Bottom up is used very extensively during the collection of data from all the employees on a group or department wise for budget preparation.

It is a communication process for hearing and understanding another’s thoughts and feelings from that person’s frame of mind or point of view.

A learned skill in which the listener interprets meaning based on the verbal and or non-verbal information made out by the speaker.

Active listening involves comprehending what one thinks is the most important to the speaker and paraphrase the statement in one’s own words.

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