Causes and Prevention of Miscommunication in Business

Communication occurs at various stages (even for one particular action), in numerous ways, and for most beings, as well as certain machines. Some, if not all fields of study, commit a part of attention to communication. So when speaking about communication, it is very crucial to be sure about what features of communication one is speaking about. Definitions of communication extend widely, some recognizing that animals can communicate with each other as well as individuals, and some are narrower, only including individuals within the limits of human symbolic interaction.

Miscommunication is one particular case of a lack of alignment of individual’s mental state, specifically one in which they diverge on the occurrence or results of communication. Communication is action, and thus miscommunication can be viewed as demands of action failure (when the spokesperson fails to generate the aimed result), misperception (when the audiences cannot distinguish what the spokesman intended to communicate), or both.

Causes and Prevention of Miscommunication in Business

Miscommunication happens when one side does not communicate enough information to us, or we misinterpret the real meaning of their words. In either case, we get a different meaning of their words than they intended. With the arrival of e-mail and IM chat, this is a becoming a general problem currently because type-based communication is asynchronous communication, meaning that individuals do not communicate in actual time. Asynchronous communication does not allow for instant opinion response, based upon their typed words alone, our minds have to understand what the other person is saying. Miscommunication can also occur in any type of communication setting, although most common in typed-based communication. No communication or a lack of communication is another common type of miscommunication.

Factors Involved of Miscommunication in an Organization

  1. Information Overload – Too much information is as bad as too little because it decreases the audience capability to focus efficiently on the most important points. People facing information overload occasionally try to manage by disregarding some of the messages, by obstructing responses to messages they consider unimportant, by answering only parts of some messages, by responding incorrectly to certain messages or by taking less time with each message.
  2. Message Complexity – You communicate both as an individual and as representative of an organization when formulating business messages. Thus you must modify your own ideas and style so that they are adequate to your employer. In fact, you may be asked frequently to write or state something that you disagree with individually. Suppose you work as a recruiter for your company. You have interviewed a job candidate, others in the firm have rejected this applicant but you believe he would make an excellent employee.
  3. Message Competition – Conversationalists are often faced with messages that compete for concentration. Both messages are suitable to get short shrift if you are talking on the phone while scanning a report. Even your own messages may have to compete with a range of interruptions such as people intrusion, meetings are called, the phone rings every five minutes and a crisis erupts. In short, your messages infrequently have the benefit on the receiver’s complete attention.
  4. Differing Status – Employees of lower rank may be too careful when sending messages to managers and may speak only about topics they think the manager is fascinated in. Likewise, higher rank people may twist messages by rejecting to consider anything that would incline to challenge their authority in the company. Also, belonging to a specific section or being responsible for a specific duty can narrow your opinion so that it differs from the manners, values, and expectations of individuals who belong to other divisions or who are liable for other tasks.
  5. Lack of Trust – It is a difficult problem when building trust. Other establishment members don’t know whether you will reply in a compassionate or liable way, so trusting can be dangerous. However without trust, free and open communication is efficiently blocked, affecting the company’s steadiness. It is not enough just being clear in your communication.
  6. Inadequate Communication Structures – Formal restrictions on who may communicate with whom and who is authorized to make decisions affects organizational communication. Designing too little proper stations blocks effective communication. Powerfully centralized organizations, particularly those with an extreme degree of formalization, lessen communication ability, and they reduce the affinity to communicate horizontally thus limiting the capability to synchronize performances and decisions.
  7. Incorrect Choice of Medium – Your message can be distorted so that the intended meaning is blocked if you choose an inappropriate communication medium. You can select the most proper medium by corresponding your preference with the nature of the message and of the group or the individual who will receive it. Telephones and other interactive electronic media are not as rich, although they allow immediate feedback, they do not grant visual nonverbal signs such as facial expressions, eye contact and body movements.
  8. Physical distractions – Communication barriers are aplenty but easy to remedy or avoid, like room temperature, weak acoustics, and unreadable copy. Even though noise or this type seems unimportant, it can completely obstruct an otherwise efficient message. Your receiver may also be distracted by an unpleasant chair, poor lighting, or some other annoying situation. In several cases, the barrier may be connected to the receiver’s well-being. Hearing or optical mutilation or even a headache can obstruct the signal of a message.

Ways to Prevent Miscommunication

  1. Information overload – We should realize that some information are not needed and make essential information effortlessly available. Provide relevant information and be as direct to the point as possible with the simplest of language. Avoid information that is not crucial.
  2. Message Complexity – We should keep messages clear and easy to understand. Use strong organization, guide readers by telling them what to expect, use concrete and specific language, and stick to the point. Be sure to ask for feedback so that you can clarify and improve your message.
  3. Message Competition – Prevent making hassles on a receiver who does not have the time to give careful consideration to your message. Create written messages visually pleasing and simple to understand, and make an effort to send them when your receiver has time to read them. Oral messages are generally helpful when you can talk directly to your receiver (rather than to mediators or answering machines).
  4. Differing Status – Strive to ensure supervisors and colleagues are well knowledgeable. Persuade lower position employees to keep you informed by being reasonable and courteous of their views. When you have information that you think that your superior might not like, be courageous and express it anyway. Position barriers can be conquered by a motivation to produce and collect bad news.
  5. Lack of Trust – Be noticeable and available. Do not shield yourself behind associates or secretaries. Give key information to colleagues and employees, communicate truthfully, and incorporate employees in assessment making. For communication to be triumphant, companies must generate an ambiance of equality and trust.
  6. Inadequate Communication Structures – Propose more avenues for communicating, both formally and informally like using platforms such as employee evaluations, open-door procedures, newsletters, memo, and mission groups. Aim to decrease chain of command levels, increase synchronization between sections, and persuade two-way communication.
  7. Incorrect Choice of Medium – Select the wealthiest media for no standard, complicated message. Use rich media to expand and to civilize your existence throughout the organization, to communicate thoughtfully and personally to employees, and to achieve employee devotion to organizational objectives. Utilize slender media to communicate easy, regular messages.
  8. Physical distractions – Strive to organize properly written documents which are plain, brief, and complete. When organizing verbal presentations try to obtain a setting which authorizes audience to see and listen to the presenter clearly.

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