Since we are social animals, the biggest part of our lives is to communicate with others. Share and receive thoughts, this by exchanging vital information, understanding the other persons feelings or intent.
These are essential skills needed when it comes to connecting, this in business and in every social situation.
So it’s not surprising it’s misunderstanding that creates a divide, which forces couples to counseling, business deals to fall apart, as it’s responsible for almost everything people struggle with.
With cooperation, what can occur is both parties to communicate better, to speak, listen, and react accordingly.
For humans, miscommunication occurs either verbally or written. The elements include the sender, the receiver, and the message sent being taken out of context.
Nonverbal signals such as body language, tone and gestures, are secondary indicators of relaying messages. The key remains saying and precisely understanding something.
Issues In Communication
The way we’re able to listen, to encode and decode the various messages sent by others into our brain, is based on how we learned to communicate when we were younger.
The words we speak, this regardless of language, are just symbols of sound which represents certain things.
Every person who relays or receives this information, may have a slightly different interpretation, even if the words are identical.
What also influences communication is the actual number of words someone knows, and the degree of language alteration which occurs in different settings or experiences.
The ways on how we code and decode these messages are determined by our culture, education, and life experiences.
Issues in communication can emerge, as no two people have the same experiences as the other, which can alter communication definitions.
Communication Issues By The Sender
The most common problem when attempting to send a message, is concisely coding our thoughts, feelings, or what we want.
This in a way how it’s relayed, and fully understood by the receiver, where there’s absolutely no doubt in what one meant.
How you might code or verbalize the message you’re feeling hungry, is different to a 5 year old than it would be to an adult.
The interpretation is completely different, if you’re talking to someone who speaks a different language than you, or if you’re talking to your best friend or an enemy.
Your Options Of Communicating
So choosing the best way to send a message, becomes vital in making sure the receiver completely understands.
Another common issue is that our thoughts, ideas and feelings, are extremely complex or difficult to relay, or we ourselves don’t have a good sense or grasp of what they are.
So sending out a message about something we don’t completely understand ourselves, has no chance of being understood by the receiver.
Communication Issues By The Receiver
The biggest issue when it comes to we attempting to receive a message from someone is misunderstanding, or decoding inaccurately.
This can occur when we’re not paying attention, or not having the skills to understand the message sent.
We then tend to add our own interpretation to the message, one that wasn’t intended by the sender.
Stop Talking When I’m Interrupting
What we rarely do is pay attention and listen to what someone is saying, because our distracted mind is preparing for a response.
During this time, the true spirit of the message can be misinterpreted. We could easily miss the critical elements of it, resulting in misunderstanding.
What can also occur is certain words are not known, such as “urban slang,” or the message is too technical, then the chances of understanding its true intent is missed.
What many also have is a habit of automatically adding things to the message, which forces us to miss or alter what was truly intended.
Suppose that someone again is just hungry, but because the other person was late making dinner, will decode the message as criticism and may take offense.
There would likely be conflict, this because of misinterpretation by the receiver, along with poor context from the sender. This is also common in text and in emails if they’re poorly written.
To Communicate Better
So the key becomes learning to communicate better. To insure the message is accurately sent, received, and understood precisely.
There’s no magical formula, or the need to start learning a variety of methods to phrase or code better, or to subscribe to rules such as using “I” statements.
So what we need is to become more mindful by having a better awareness of how messy communication can get.
To be more thoughtful about sending messages so the other would understand. Also ask to verify if the receiver completely understands or not.
Know Your Communication Mistakes
We’re all guilty of sending messages which are confusing or incomplete, or we completely miss the drift, this when it comes to someone trying to tell us something.
Once we become more aware that anyone can make mistakes when communicating, we can then adjust on how we send and receive messages.
Choose Your Words And Actions Carefully
Make sure you tailor what you want to communicate, precisely to who the receiver is, so the odds increases they will understand.
As much as we want to think our parents, kids, coworkers, partners to just automatically know exactly what our needs or feelings are, that’s not always the case.
We then get frustrated as we think they should accurately interpret everything we say and they should understand us, but usually they can’t.
All we can do is conscientiously send better messages, by thinking how that specific person at that specific time and their state of mind, would be able to receive our message.
And then deliver to them the best possible way for that situation. You can also ask if they completely understand you.
Conversely, once you hear something, and especially if you don’t understand it or it strikes you differently, make sure you ask the sender if you heard correctly.
This instead of you using your own interpretation or jumping to conclusions.
Then think of the misunderstanding and arguments that can be prevented by communicating back and forth better.