Misunderstandings in communication take place when intent differs from interpretation. Good communicators strive to clarify their point to avoid misunderstandings. It is easy to assume that our intended message was understood. Since we understand what we are saying, we believe that others will understand as well. That is just not the case. Our individual minds work differently, and we all listen and interpret differently. Never assume that your message has been properly understood. The first step in resolving any misunderstanding should be to clarify the message. To avoid misunderstandings all together, strive for clear communications without room for misinterpretation.
As leaders and managers, as well as parents and spouses, it is critical that we communicate clearly. Doing so can eliminate conflict before it ever gets started. Just put yourself in the shoes of your intended listener, who does not have the benefit of knowing how you are thinking. Would you understand the message being delivered? Avoid misunderstandings by clarifying your message. Consider the quote below.
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
– George Bernard Shaw