Miscommunication and Quiet Confusion! Have you ever had situations where you felt that what you wanted to say was not understood, and sometimes you had problems? If the answer is yes, don’t worry, you’re in the group of the vast majority.
There are hundreds of different definitions of communication, and in its simplest form, we can define it as “transferring information, attitudes, behaviors and meanings from one side to another using appropriate environments and responding to the message.” Communication that is the right message from a person or group to a person or group is an interaction that starts from the moment of birth and continues uninterruptedly until death, differing according to people who are in constant change. There must be feedback and interaction.
Miscommunication! Quiet Confusion
I remember very clearly, on the weekend around 10:00 I was out and on the street to get that bread that we always bought warmly. It was pretty quiet all around, there was hardly a single person except for a few cats, and the neighborhood’s best-known coffee place, which was always lined up in front of it, was closed. I was terrified! I felt like people had left the places where they lived and we were the only ones left. Yes, I am talking about those days when curfews started of the Covid-19 pandemic and sure you felt similar feelings at least once. I bought the bread from the open market and quickly returned home.
With the pandemic and restrictions, communication channels were suddenly concentrated in social media or online video calling systems. At that time, I was also conducting “remote communication” training with an international pharmaceutical brand. One of the participants, Julia, wanted to take the floor and say something at the beginning of the training, of course, I promised him immediately. In his speech, he said: “I don’t believe that people can be convinced through different communication channels other than face-to-face communication, and that this will be sustainable.”
Determination about communication
At that moment, there was a silence in the whole group because Julia was the leader in the group. How would the leader convince her team if she didn’t believe it? What kind of difficulty would I have to solve this issue? I could have tried to convince Julia here, or I could have expressed the belief that her company had decided on this training and that it would continue to be so from now on. I might even seem right about it for a while.
I might even seem right about it for a while. However, instead of objecting, Julia was actually making a determination about communication, which is an ancient subject.
If I had tried to convince her, it probably wouldn’t have happened at that moment. I understood that this situation was a miscommunication and made a communication management accordingly.
Communication (non-communication); it is called the absence of a connection, a relationship between the given message and the received message. This is called noise. There are two types of miscommunication. The first is semantic (semantics) miscommunication, and the other is physical miscommunication.
There are the following four situations in semantic miscommunication;
- The difference in education and culture between the donor and receiver
- The transmitter does not know the receiver well and does not know its characteristics
- Incorrect communication channels selected
- Receiver so listening issues
If we examine this situation in the story;
There may be educational and cultural differences between Julia and me. This difference can lead to miscommunication in terms of understanding and explaining each other.
My lack of knowledge about Julia, not knowing what she experienced before starting the training, and not having an idea about her communication style can lead to semantic miscommunication.
The selected communication channel is an online video calling program. Since Julia does not turn on her camera on this communication channel, I cannot interact with her face-to-face, I only stay in a voice communication. This shows that a correct communication channel has not been chosen for Julia, even if it is due to necessity.
If Julia had been a little patient or calm his statement would not have been perceived as criticism, he was right, but with new communication channels, people could adapt to hybrid communication; he would hear my insight that although this would not replace face-to-face communication, it would make our job easier by being used as an alternative means of communication.
In physical miscommunication, the phone suddenly rings during the communication process, the door knocks; the giver is in a state of conveying his message when he is suddenly interrupted; physical features, such as other sounds disrupting communication during speech, can interfere with communications.
If we examine this situation in the story; Miscommunication!
- Julia, who did not have an open camera but forgot her microphone open when she was just beginning to explain the content and purpose of the training, knocked on her door before talking (she was probably a courier) and this voice was heard, everyone was distracted for a moment,
- During the transmission of my message, he interrupts my speech and says what he has in mind directly,
- During the meeting, we were probably confronted with miscommunication, such as the voices of a cat and a little one who liked to spend time with him, being heard by everyone at that time.
Both of these types show us how miscommunication can occur in communication. And what did I do?
I listened to Julia until her speech was over, stressing that I understood her and listened to what she had to say. Continuing my speech from where I left off, I referred to her and stated that her determination was correct and that all of humanity was going through a state of uncertainty.
Although I do not know what effect our adaptation to this situation will have for us, I concluded by stating my opinion that it will probably contribute. Then I asked for their feedback again and stressed that I was curious about her feedback and further notification.
At the end of my speech, Julia opened her camera and thanked her and gave feedback: “I actually like the hybrid communication issue. We are far but close with our customers and teammates, which is sure to stretch the way we do business. However, I will always prefer face-to-face communication.”
A situation that could turn into a conflict, entering into a persuasion process with the introduction of mutual ideas, was resolved by communication. People want to be understood, and communication is the process of understanding and telling. There must be feedback so that there is dialogue.
Whether you give an education, a public speaking, or a business presentation, successful communication will not occur without the following elements. Otherwise, you may face a possible miscommunication.
Success of Communication;
- To the level of relationship between the transmitter and receiver
- To the level of detection between transmitter and receiver
- To the level of empathy between the transmitter and receiver
- It depends on the level of effective listening between the transmitter and receiver.
In this story, the transmitter (who delivered the message, started the conversation) was David, and the receiver (who received the message as it was and interpreted it in her own way) was Julia. Miscommunication can happen at any time, so it is necessary to be prepared and to get preliminary information about the person or people we are going to communicate with, to make impressive presentations that are not boring, and to keep them in the communication process by quickly asking questions for adults whose perceptions are broken.
Remember that if there is no feedback in the communication process, that communication is a one-sided message. This is something we don’t want because it is understood by receiving feedback whether the message was received or received correctly. Feedback is defined as the evaluation of a topic and informing the giver, while further notification is defined as focusing on the real potential of the person and informing them about which aspects of the person can develop more. All these are necessary elements for successful communication.