Miscommunication. What is it? Miscommunication is simply, “the message you sent is not the message that was received.” No matter what position, market or industry miscommunication creeps in from time to time.
It is widely recognized that there are four major places where miscommunication occurs:
- What I said
- What I meant
- What you heard
- What you thought I meant
Clearly, at any point along the continuum of communicating, miscommunication is present.
Miscommunication, though amusing at times, can be costly when it comes to staff productivity and business results.
Here are three quick tips to reduce your miscommunication.
ABC’s to reduce miscommunication
A = Assess receiver and situation
With a better understanding of who you are talking with and the specific communication situation, you will be better able to tailor your message for a more complete understanding.
You, of course, would not speak the same way with a four year old as you would a forty year old. Nor would you communicate the same doing an employee corrective action plan in private as opposed to a team meeting.
B = Be aware of your message
Know that your message is more then the words you say. Your message is really a package of what you say, how you say it, what you don’t say and your nonverbal communication all rolled up in one.
Know that your communication is going to reveal both content and relationship messages throughout. Be sure you are aware of the content message – the focus, ideas, information, etc…as well as the relationship message – the cues about your emotions, attitudes, power, control, etc.
C = Create a feedback loop
o One of the most important steps in reducing miscommunication is creating the opportunity for feedback. Feedback is the verbal and nonverbal responses between communicators about the clarity and acceptability of the message.
o Don’t let the communication interaction end until you have ensured the other person has understood by receiving feedback. That is, was the message I sent, the message you received.
There you have it, three quick ways to reduce miscommunication…it is as easy as ABC!