As originally answered on Quora.com … 

Thanks for an interesting question. I have always thought of communication in terms of being interpersonal or non-interpersonal i.e. to everybody but nobody specific, not in terms of personal or impersonal.  

BusinessDictionary.com defines impersonal communication as follows:

A type of communication or interaction that is based specifically on social roles, such as communication between a sales representative and a potential customer. The manner of communication is informal and superficial, covering topics necessary to instigate a saleor similar transaction.


They are providing a business-related definition, as they are business focussed. However, even if we aren’t in business, we are exposed to numerous personal and impersonal communications, throughout our day.

Personal communication, more commonly known as interpersonal communication, applies to the conversations that we have with other people. This could be to one other person, or to a large group of people. Talking to your dog would not be considered interpersonal. Unless you are Dr. Doolittle, your dog doesn’t usually talk back to you.

So back to the question, what is the importance of personal communication … its how we communicate with the rest of the people in our world. Its how we express our wants, beliefs and desires. It keeps us from going crazy. Even shy introverts need some interpersonal communication to help keep their sanity. I’m not sure about hermits though. I’ve never met one.

As for impersonal communication, we are likely exposed to it numerous times per day. If we are at a store, considering a purchase, a sales person would likely speak to us impersonally. A pesky telemarketer, phoning us at supper time with a fantastic offer that we have to act upon in the next five minutes, is also speaking to us impersonally. They may have called us by our name, sometimes even our first name, but they are following a script. Since they don’t know us and unlikely ever to meet us, it can be argued that they haven’t earned the right to speak to us personally.

Many speakers/presenters deliver their content to their audience, impersonally. The skilled and experienced ones craft and deliver their content as if they were having a personal conversation with each individual of the audience.

In conclusion, what is the importance of personal and impersonal communication? To be successful in communicating with the rest of the world you need to recognize when each of the styles are being utilized and proficient in responding in the appropriate manner. I have seen numerous incidence of people providing TMI (too much information) when it is not recommended or appropriate.

Thanks again for your question!

~~~ 

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Rae A. Stonehouse is an author, speaker, and self-publishing consultant dedicated to helping others embrace constant improvement and overcome challenges. With over 40 years of experience as a Registered Nurse in psychiatry and mental health, Rae brings a wealth of knowledge and passion for self-development to his writing and presentations.

As a 25+ year member of Toastmasters International, Rae has systematically built his communication abilities and self-confidence to share his insights as an author and speaker. His self-help books and personal development presentations aim to have conversational one-on-one connections with readers and audiences.

Rae is known for his wry sense of humor and sage advice delivered in a relatable coaching style. After four decades as a nurse, Rae has rewired rather than retired, actively writing and pursuing public speaking. He strives to share lessons learned to help others achieve personal and professional growth.

To learn more about Rae and his approach to constant improvement, visit his website at Live For Excellence Productions or to learn more about his publications visit Live For Excellence Store

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Rae A. Stonehouse stands out as a celebrated author, inspiring speaker, and knowledgeable self-publishing consultant, bringing over forty years of experience in psychiatric and mental health nursing. His extensive involvement with Toastmasters International has refined his communication skills, enabling him to deliver relatable and insightful personal development content. Rae's engaging approach, characterized by humor and wise counsel, reflects his rich life experiences and commitment to ongoing personal growth. Beyond his professional realm, he's adept in DIY projects, having renovated and decorated homes, and is an enthusiastic gardener in Kelowna, British Columbia. Rae's life, shared with his wife Sandra, their son, daughter-in-law, and beloved granddaughter, epitomizes the essence of lifelong learning and the pursuit of excellence in every venture.Rae A. Stonehouse is an author, speaker, and self-publishing consultant dedicated to helping others embrace constant improvement and overcome challenges. With over 40 years of experience as a Registered Nurse in psychiatry and mental health, Rae brings a wealth of knowledge and passion for self-development to his writing and presentations. As a 25+ year member of Toastmasters International, Rae has systematically built his communication abilities and self-confidence to share his insights as an author and speaker. His self-help books and personal development presentations aim to have conversational one-on-one connections with readers and audiences. Rae is known for his wry sense of humor and sage advice delivered in a relatable coaching style. After four decades as a nurse, Rae has rewired rather than retired, actively writing and pursuing public speaking. He strives to share lessons learned to help others achieve personal and professional growth. To learn more about Rae and his approach to constant improvement, visit his website at Live For Excellence Productions or to learn more about his publications visit Live For Excellence StoreRae A. Stonehouse is an author, speaker, and self-publishing consultant dedicated to helping others embrace constant improvement and overcome challenges. With over 40 years of experience as a Registered Nurse in psychiatry and mental health, Rae brings a wealth of knowledge and passion for self-development to his writing and presentations. As a 25+ year member of Toastmasters International, Rae has systematically built his communication abilities and self-confidence to share his insights as an author and speaker. His self-help books and personal development presentations aim to have conversational one-on-one connections with readers and audiences. Rae is known for his wry sense of humor and sage advice delivered in a relatable coaching style. After four decades as a nurse, Rae has rewired rather than retired, actively writing and pursuing public speaking. He strives to share lessons learned to help others achieve personal and professional growth. To learn more about Rae and his approach to constant improvement, visit his website at Live For Excellence Productions or to learn more about his publications visit Live For Excellence Store