When someone does not understand something correctly, it is called misunderstanding. This someone can be you, our friends, pets, or any possible being having the cognitive power. Although the word misunderstanding is very easy to spell, its natural meaning is still very difficult to understand. Someone had once said that something very easy is very difficult, this is true when we have the tendency to pay less attention to the easy things of our life.
Why we fail to understand the message: because we all have unseen boundaries of the insight of mind and instinctive power. When someone’s message falls beyond the limit of the horizon of one’s mind then his brain disagree to accept the message. Actually no one is responsible for this kind of situation; everyone is right from his thinking perspective. Then why there are so many differences among people? Social background, families, religions, education and demographic locations even temperature has effects on human mind; living in a particular atmosphere, to develop his reasoning power which is not necessarily will be the same with a person living on any other part of the world-this fact works well to a certain class of people.
Be Specific When Communicating
Say what you mean and mean what you say. It is very important to be specific when communicating with others. Never say things in a general way. If a person knows exactly what you mean, the chances of a misunderstanding can be avoided.
For example, instead of saying, “I’ll see you on Sunday,” be more specific and say, “I’ll see you on Sunday at 5 o’clock.”
Be Aware of Your Verbal and Non-Verbal Language
Be certain to clearly convey the same verbal and non-verbal cues. Do not give mixed communication signals. Remember, body language, facial expressions, and tone of speech play a significant part in how messages will be interpreted.
For example, if you say something one way, and your facial expression says something else, it is very possible that a miscommunication may occur.
Always Ask Questions
Avoid making assumptions based on preconceived notions. Ask questions to confirm, whether you are the one sending or receiving the message. Never assume that you know what has been conveyed.
If someone conveys a message that is unclear, ask for more clarification. For example, “ I did not understand what you said, could you please repeat it?”
Practice Active Listening Skills
Active listening is one of the best ways to effectively communicate with others. In fact, when we actually listen, misunderstanding is less likely to occur. With that in mind, there is a difference between hearing and active listening; hearing involves sound waves reaching the ears, and the brain processing what has been heard.
Active listening goes far beyond that of just hearing what someone has said. It involves focus and a sincere commitment to make certain that what someone has said is appropriately understood. This is not easy, though. The following are ways to become an active listener:
- Avoid distractions
- Stop all non-relevant activities
- Focus on the person speaking
- Be an active participant; respond to questions or comments
- Encourage the speaker with your body language
Effective communication is not an easy skill and it takes time to develop this type of ability. Obviously it seems not impossible. The best practice of a successful communicator is to be specific, watch all verbal and non-verbal cues, ask questions, and be an active listener. This is the key to all effective communication. Remember, you can never be too sure, too accurate, or too curious.