Gaining A Deeper Understanding Into Miscommunication Mistakes
We know what we want to say. But a common mistake that causes miscommunications is that we don’t use enough specific words so that the other person understands exactly what we are saying. Yet, we normally assume they do.
Six Very Common Mistakes:
- Choosing very general words that can be taken many ways
- Leaving out details
- Showing disrespect for the other person’s feelings, time, & perspective
- Forgetting to add specific examples
- Overlooking summarizing your understanding of the communication.
- Sending mixed messages with your body language and tone of voice.
Try to incorporate these six communication hints to improve your communication skills: Add very specific terms, include details (place, time, dates, terms and amounts), show respect for other person, give explicit examples of what you mean, notice your body language so it conveys the correct message and then summarize the content of your conversation.
If you would like to try a book on this subject, read: Miscommunication by C. David Mortensen. For other similar articles by this author, check www.supportivetalk.com or read: A key Life Skill: Effective Communication by Vicki Langemo, LPC, MA.
Learn from these examples to improve your Communication Methods.
I hope the 3 scenarios give you insight into how to change your communication wording so that you can get your exact point across. Remember to add details, specific words, respect, examples and summarize content throughout your conversations. This method will really reduce the amount of miscommunication and misunderstanding in your conversations with others.
Words are only a part of communication. A good communicator must also notice their facial expressions, body language and tone of voice. For example, if your facial expression looks bored the person isn’t going to feel that you care about what they are saying. If you keep looking away or don’t look into the person’s eyes, they may think you are not paying attention. I once had a client who felt anxious looking into someone’s eyes and had to normally look off to the left. I told the person they need to share with the people close to him that he doesn’t feel comfortable looking into someone’s eyes and this does not mean he doesn’t care. Finally, tone of voice…..you can’t say “I love you” in an angry voice and expect to be believed. The other person may think…..this person is angry with me and is only saying this because they think it is what I want to hear. So become aware of your tone of voice, body language and facial expressions to make sure they fit what you are trying to convey. These examples should help you really improve your communication skills.