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Monday, March 9, 2009

The Causes of Miscommunication in Daily Life

Miscommunication frequently occur in our daily lives. This is a result of many different factors as information is transmitted through the channel of communication.

In my previous post “Understanding the Communication Process”, we have looked at the channels of communication and how it can be distorted by noise. In this post, we will be exploring the different causes of miscommunication that occur in our daily life and how it might lead to miscommunication.

The one of the most common reasons for miscommunication would be because one word could have multiple meanings. For example, a draft could mean rough work, a bank draft, or even a strong current of wind.

In addition, a statement could simply be misinterpreted based on its context. For example, consider a statement such as “Let us leave now.” To the receiver, this may mean “Let us leave immediately”, while to the sender, this statement may mean “Let us start preparations to leave now.” Such situations are most common the office where people are under stress and time constraints. Miscommunications of this sort inevitability happen and are a root cause of many of the conflicts and misunderstandings that occur at the office.

Another cause of miscommunications would be because one word can sound similar to another. For instance, a simple example would be “I want to play” which sounds similar to “I want to stay.” This situation is further exasperated by the increasingly globalize world where technological advances have made it possible for many different cultures to be able to work and interact together. Different accents may result in communication difficulties.

Human moods could also play a large factor in miscommunication. A person in a foul mood may easily interpret the most innocuous statement as something filled with malice. Hence, it is important to consider the non-verbal aspects of communication as importantly as you would consider what a person says.

Cultural and environmental upbringing could be another factor. For example, a word or gesture in a certain culture could mean something obscene in another culture or context. For example, the V - sign may seem like a universal symbol of victory, peace and love, but may be considered rude in certain parts of the world such as Italy.

In conclusion, miscommunications occur when one side doesn’t communicate enough information to us, or when we misinterpret the meaning of certain words or gestures. Do put in the time and effort to ensure that your message is properly received and interpreted by the other person.

Keep an open and alert mind, continue to develop more effective interpersonal skills and you will definitely be able to avoid the pitfalls of miscommunication in our everyday lives.


Patricia Rockwell said...

I like your list of reasons why miscommunication occurs. It's a wonder, isn't it, that we ever manage to get our message across?

Anonymous said...

those are true reasons but the basic fundamentals revolve around people assuming things and not asking.

Also not wanting the same thing and not being understanding of peoples difference needs.

Rick said...

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I can't think of a blog more deserving of this award.

Anonymous said...

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Rams said...

Very good excerpt on Miscommunication and I perfectly agree to your statement regarding the misinterpretation in bad mood.

I have experienced such situations too....



Daniel said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Selfish SMS said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

Joel Seah said...

Very good post on miscommunication. We should be more aware of the words we use, and take responsibility for the way we communicate.

birthday sms said...

that's very cool post and it's communicate way is fine by joel...

Anonymous said...

Am realy grateful for those reasons of miscommunication it helps me alot. I love you all.