Preventing Miscommunications

Miscommunications can significantly hamper relationships and hinder results. The most prevalent miscommunication that many people have is to believe that communication actually occurred. Very often, we are surprised or disappointed that someone did not do as expected because we thought that we had communicated with the person, when in fact, we had not. Here’s how to prevent miscommunications and its negative repercussions.
  • Begin each communication by knowing what your goal is. What do you want to convey to the other person? What do you want the other person to understand? What do you want the other person to do?
  • Be conscious of the words you use. Use easily understood words with precise meanings.
  • When communicating verbally, be mindful of your tone and inflections. By emphasizing certain words, different meanings can be interpreted.
  • Watch your body language and facial expressions. People believe more what they see over what they hear.
  • Watch their body language and facial expressions. Observe the body language and facial expression of the person to whom you are speaking. If something registers confusion, anger or another emotion, stop and ask a question that will help bring both parties to a better understanding.
  • Ask questions to help you get to the heart of the matter. Seeking feedback from the other party will help clarify the understanding of a subject and prevent further misconceptions.