18: How to Combat Miscommunication and Negative Assumptions

In order to find joy, meaning and ease at work you need to communicate clearly and interpret information accurately. This requires focus, curiosity and a willingness to challenge the stories you tell yourself.


In this episode of Crina and Kirsten Get to Work, we tackle the many ways that miscommunication happens and what you can do about it. If you’re a direct communicator like Crina, people may assume that there is some implicit message in what you are saying. They might hear you say one thing, but believe another. Miscommunication can also happen when the listener isn’t actually listening or makes incorrect assumptions about what is “really” being said. Miscommunication is also very common when we fail to listen fully because we’re waiting to talk or waiting to make our point. Finally, we all filter what is being said through our own unique experiences and stories. Many times people hear something that is actually much different than what was intended because they can’t be objective about the information that’s delivered.

Crina and Kirsten offer a few tips to combat miscommunication, starting with the elimination of assumptions. When you hear something that doesn’t sit well with you, do yourself a favor and check in. Ask that person to restate what they just said so that you can be sure you heard it accurately. If you’re using email as your primary mode of communication, practice reading that unsettling email a different way. It’s also great to develop active listening skills that make use of curiosity and kindness. Finally, when you’re the one doing the talking, make sure you’re clear about what you want to say and use clear language when delivering information.

Remember that in order to find joy, meaning and ease at work, you need to get control of how you communicate and the way you interpret what other people are saying and writing.


8 Causes of Miscommunication and Misunderstanding

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