A consumer misunderstands a policy; a coworker misunderstands a task; and a couple disputes about who was meant to pick up the child.
One would think that as technology advances, misunderstanding will decrease. Unfortunately, this has not been the case. We are more linked than ever, but it appears as though we are drifting more and further away from common understanding. The first step is to identify the source of the problem. The following are eight occurring reasons of miscommunication and misunderstanding. If you are interested to read more, misunderstanding sayings from Reneturrek are right for you.
- Inferior vs. superior communication
Occasionally, we mean precisely what we say. “Please pass me a cookie.” However, our stated statement may not always correspond to our objective. “Could you please hand that cookie to me?” “Yes, I could,” my sister responds, grabbing and eating the cookie herself.
Implicitness may be crammed into even the simplest communications. “Enjoy that cookie” might be interpreted as neutral. However, I may express it in a way that makes my sister feel bad or makes her question if this specific cookie has an unknown component.
Miscommunication frequently results from a mismatch of the sender’s and receiver’s stated and implicit meaning. Certain individuals are forthright, while others want you to read between the lines.
Avoiding misinterpretation by explicitly phrasing your messages. This is especially advisable in high-stakes situations or when you are unfamiliar with the other party. If you’re a customer service representative, for example, you’d be wise to err on the side of explicitness.
There is a conflict here between politeness and directness. We use indirection to make queries and instructions more courteous. “Could you please give me your phone number?” becomes “would you mind providing me your phone number?”
While you cannot completely avoid this process, it is beneficial to be aware of its repercussions.
- Written vs. spoken communication
Another frequent source of misinterpretation is the message’s carrier, or channel. Verbal channels such as phone or voice mail are more effective at conveying implicit meaning, but written channels such as email or live chat are more effective at conveying explicit meaning.
The word “no” can be pronounced in an endless number of ways. Written communication leaves complete interpretation to the receiver, which facilitates misunderstanding.
The major modes of communication are contrasted.
Thus, the advantages of textual communication include its searchability and archivability. You rely less on the listener’s attention and working memory, since he can just read back what was said.
As a result, writing is prone to implicit misinterpretation, whereas speaking is prone to explicit miscommunication.
Emoji are one technique for reducing the possibility of misspelling words when writing. Help Scout’s Emily Triplett Lentz produced a piece about how emoji and exclamation points may help make your emails more pleasant.
- Forms of competitive dialogue
Many of our conversations take on counterproductive forms in which each side is merely out to seek status. Jordan B. Peterson covers a number of these patterns that he experienced during his time as a psychologist and that you are certain to recognise in “12 Rules for Life.”
The more compelling narrative. A single individual may convey an excellent narrative. Rather of merely admiring it, the other person attempts to outdo it. If the original storyteller reciprocates, such exchanges can soon spiral out of hand, resulting in more implausible narratives.
I’m waiting for you to make your point. Rather than listening intently to what the other person is saying, you’re preoccupied with how you may intervene to make your own point.
Victory for the perspective. The majority of debates culminate in this one. Rather than conversing in order to learn anything new, individuals converse just for the goal of declaring triumph over the other person’s point of view.
The disadvantage of these types of conversational patterns is that they restrict us from approaching comprehension. If your ego is invested in the outcome of your argument, you cannot alter your viewpoint without losing face.
- Bias toward negativity
This is our mind’s natural predisposition to see uncertainty negatively.
When you go into a dark room, the last thing on your mind is bumping into a pot of gold; instead, you see a deadly clown waiting beneath the bed.
The negativity bias is a major cause of miscommunication as well. We go toward the negative when faced with several plausible interpretations. Your partner has “seen” but not yet responded to your latest message? Probably because he’s too preoccupied with cheating on you.
The negativity bias is particularly strong in written channels, where the receiver is required to perform the implicit interpretation. Gregory Ciotti advises in his recommendations on working remotely – which sometimes includes a large dependence on chat – to always presume misunderstanding above malice.
When you’re the sender, keep the negativity bias in mind and include a positive emoji in potentially ambiguous communications. For additional tips on how to overcome the negativity bias, watch our video below.
- Impaired listening abilities
Julian Treasure claims in his Ted presentation that we are fast losing our ability to listen. Our applications have kept us constantly distracted; our headphones have ensconced us in a private cocoon.
Indeed, a good deal of contemporary miscommunication can be attributed to the receiver’s inability to concentrate. If you wish to improve your listening abilities, Treasure suggests the following exercises:
- Limited ability to communicate
Similarly, poor communication skills are sometimes blamed for misunderstanding. Certain individuals communicate themselves in such a way that they are nearly hard to follow.
One effective communication technique is to communicate structurally — for example, by employing a what – so what – now what framework. Begin by discussing the what. Then I’ll discuss why it’s relevant. Then, what should the following steps be?
That is the case with Timoor. He, like you, is an avid basketball enthusiast. Allow me to acquaint you with him.
Julian Treasure also gives some advice on how to communicate in such a way that others will want to listen in another talk:
Additionally, make sure to check out his book, “How to be Heard: Secrets to Effective Speaking and Listening.”
- Language that is misaligned
Another frequent source of communication breakdown. To maximise efficiency, members of a tight group establish their own modes of communication–through jargon, acronyms, and buzzwords, for example.
Conversing in jargon.
Another offender is “Legalese.” It is the formal and technical jargon that frequently overcomplicates official paperwork, compelling citizens to hire attorneys to resolve their legal difficulties.
These language occurrences are harmless as long as one remains inside one’s circle. However, while talking with strangers, you’ll need to modify.
- Mental representations
The aforementioned reasons of misunderstanding include a genuine misconception of the message’s explicit/implicit meaning. However, a more serious sort of misunderstanding arises – one in which individuals talk about the same topics but have different interpretations of what they mean.
This type of misunderstanding results from disparate mental representations.
It would be ideal if everyone saw the world the same way. However, we do not. Within “What is it? Did you actually say what I believe I heard you say? “According to Sharon Morgen, our brains discard, misconstrue, and misunderstand information based on filters–biases, triggers, assumptions, beliefs, habits, and mental models.
Indeed, there is a continuous epistemological dispute among clever people about the existence of objective reality. While we will not reach a conclusion here, this fact alone demonstrates the importance of mental models.