Communication is tricky. Even the most experienced communicators get it wrong. And what’s worse is that often times the sender and the receiver involved in the process of communication have no way of knowing if their ‘communication’ was successful or not.
Let’s bust some communication myths, shall we? Maybe these will help us avoid the many pitfalls of miscommunication.
A) Communication means sharing information
Wrong. Sharing information is not communication. Information and understanding that piece of information are two
very different things. This is because being able to understand the piece of information is to understand the intent behind the information. This is what makes communication successful.
B) Intent is important, language can take a backseat
Wrong. Many people feel that if the intent is communicated, the language used to communicate the said intent doesn’t matter much.
People forget that language is what helps mould and shape the intent to the satisfaction of everyone in the communication loop. Though it is true that intent lies at the heart of what has to be communicated, language is what gives intent the shape and structure. Without language the intent can be lost, or worse misunderstood.
Communication is an idea, thought or information in the sender’s mind. Language is what fleshes out this idea, thought or information. We say that communication is successful when language conveys this idea, thought or information along with the intent of the sender.
Communication and language thus go hand in hand, with English being the preferred language used in all forms of communication globally. Being able to speak English well thus fosters the ability to communicate well.
Do let us know in the comments section about your own experiences when there was miscommunication.