The Impact of Miscommunication

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The Impact of Miscommunication

The Impact of Miscommunication

How we present our messages is extremely important. A little change in how a message is delivered can determine whether we communicate well or whether something is miscommunicated. Listed are three examples of poor communication:

  1. Notice the difference a comma (or in verbal communication, a pause) can make:
    1. "Let's eat Grandma."
    2. "Let's eat, Grandma."
  2. Here is another example in which punctuation (or emphasis) changes meaning:
    1. "A woman, without her man, is nothing."
    2. "A woman: without her, man is nothing."
  3. Ambiguous pronouns may be confusing to the listener, as noted in these sentences:
    1. "John and Tyler run a business together and own a truck and a van. He drives it to work every day."
      1. Is the driver John or Tyler?
      2. Is the vehicle being driven the truck or the van?

If we are communicating directly to another person, we may be able to overcome these errors through voice intonation or body language, because communication is:

  1. 7 percent words.
  2. 38 percent intonation.
  3. 55 percent physical movements.

However, when communicating virtually, we often do not have our voice or bodies to compensate for the poor use of language structure, so we must be very careful about how we communicate.

There is always a risk that the medium we used to deliver virtual messages may add noise to the message. For example, a fax may not come through clearly, so an "8" may look like a "6". In the right situation, this could cause a terrible accounting error.

When using mediated communication, noise plays a critical factor in good communication. It is a sender's responsibility to make certain a message is delivered in such a way that it is almost impossible to misunderstand.

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