Have you ever talked with someone and known that they were not there with you? Effectively connecting with others includes the use of active listening skills. It isn’t difficult to tell when speaking with someone that “no one is home.” For communication to work both speaker and listener should be actively engaged. Listening involves much more than hearing the words of the speaker.
Miscommunication typically occurs when what we think we hear and what the speaker is actually saying are different. This is often seen in the work place as well as in our personal lives. In the work place problems occur that can be costly and even dangerous. In our personal lives you can see a multitude of problems that arise. It is possible to effectively connect with others around you by using good listening skills potentially saving you both money and hardships.
Know that communication is much more effective if you have an understanding of the other person’s point of view. Listening involves looking for unspoken clues as to what the speaker may by feeling. For example if someone says that they are sorry and yet has an angry look in their demeanor, you would not think that they were sorry at all. The angry look may have nothing to do with what you are speaking about, but it certainly could just as easily.
One of the best methods for cutting the chances of miscommunication is to restate what you think they are saying. This will clarify that the information given was understood. No, you don’t want to do that with everything that is said but think about those things that are most important. For example: I want you to carry the boxes received to the storage area. You might say “you want me to carry the boxes received to the storage area today.” What the instructions really was that the boxes received were to be carried to the storage area upon arrival every day.
You can see how easily it is for miscommunication between parties can occur. By actively listening with an understanding of the views of others and using skills such as restating miscommunication can be decreased. This makes life easier for all concerned by cutting out the frustration felt when things are either not done as asked or when the other party thinks you said something that was different from what you meant. It takes practice, patience and time to learn good listening skills for both the speaker and the receiver. You will find however that life is much simpler when everyone is on the same track.