Main Causes Of Miscommunication
The primary purpose of communication is to pass information from one person to another. With the right choice of written and oral words, concepts, opinions, ideas, thoughts, and emotions are conveyed and exchanged. Regrettably, miscommunication is common, and the listener or reader may fail to understand anything spoken or written.
Miscommunications occur regularly with one person or another. While technology has enabled communication to happen faster, it doesn’t happen any better. Miscommunication is so frustrating, and such awful glitches happen during the most inconvenient moments causing unnecessary stress on all of us as well as influence and disruption with the entire process of communication.
While there are some obvious root causes for miscommunication, some occur on the receiving end while some on the sending end. As common with doing business with different people, miscommunications do occur from time to time. With that fact in mind, let’s see some of the leading causes of miscommunication:
Assumption is one of the most common reasons for miscommunication. When two or more parties are communicating, and they base their communication on a set of assumptions, if such assumptions are wrong, then the final information passed will be wrong too.
No doubt we’ve all done this before. Think about that last email you drafted in a hurry while trying to catch up with time for work. Being hasty is a very terrible way to communicate because it doesn’t deliver information well, so communication is either rude, half-baked, or merely frustrating.
Most miscommunication happens in email writing for the reason that quick emails are useful, but usually, don’t come across well or as complete thoughts. In some email you cannot tell the tone of a person, or get it from the flow, so you end up missing the true meaning of what’s being communicated.
This is a leading cause of miscommunication in business. When multiple messages are sent over a long period, or essential information is buried inside of unnecessarily long words, the point can easily be missed resulting in miscommunication and mess up of the entire communication process. Such a mess may cause a disastrous effect on a product or service.
Vagueness Or Ambiguity
Being Vague or ambiguous happens when the message is not delivered wholly, or the sender omits some valuable information or when the receiver does not ask a question for further clarification. Vagueness and ambiguity make tasks difficult limiting the ability to make informed decisions or solve problems. If you cannot solve the customer’s issues, then your business is at risk.
Lack Of Listening
The world we live in today, people love to talk but rarely listen. Often, when talking to a person, they listen to reply and not to understand what information you have to pass across. So when you finish talking, the listener jumps into conclusion, which is a terrible way to communicate.
Lack Of Context
In any business, context refers to the background, environment, or the setting of the incident or event. This framework serves as an explanation and helps to give tasks and responsibilities proper meaning. For instance, when disseminating a report, the context of that particular task would comprise of the name of the report, when it was sent, where it is sent to and by who. Lack of context may cause miscommunication or result in mistakes within the communication process and further confuses and misleads the consumers.
The Impacts Of Miscommunication
More miscommunication: When two people are communicating from different pages and continue to argue further, the chances are that the communication gap may only continue to widen.
Frustration: When an email gets across in an angry or rude tone, though not intentional, it causes frustration. Also if the email is not clear but requires some action to be taken, it is exceedingly frustrating.
Project delays: One person might be mistaken to think that the other individual is undertaking some job, and vice versa, but in reality, nothing is going on. This is how far miscommunication can take a business down.
There are several causes of miscommunication, ranging from missing the context to the wrong choice of communication medium. These may further lead to disastrous outcomes in businesses in regards to the bottom line as well as the internal morale. Communication errors may lead to loss of millions, along with intangible impacts such as lack of inattentiveness, loss of focus and confidence.