August 03, 2021

Why do we always fail to understand each other? 6 common communication mistakes

1. Don’t substitute your own guesses for the other person’s true thoughts.

A common mistake people make is to always guess what other people need, what they will agree or disagree with, and how they want to communicate, instead of asking them directly.

Never say something like “I thought you thought so”, “I thought you agreed”, “I thought you would definitely not want to”. It is impossible for you to think and make decisions for others, even if you feel that you understand them again.

The solution to this point is to take it for granted and confirm it more: even if you think that you have fully understood the other’s thoughts and understood the other’s opinions, as long as these ideas and opinions are not directly expressed by the other party, you should agree with The other party confirms.

Whether you are having a conversation, making a speech, or sending a text message or email, as long as you are conveying information, you need to confirm whether the other party has clearly known the information you are talking about and whether you need to ask questions, he will tell you Is your opinion agree or disagree. Even if you feel that you “heard the other party’s suggestion” “very obviously”, you should ask the direct question again and seek an exact answer. Only in this way will it be the smallest probability that both of you may have regrets.



2. Don’t avoid direct conversations and expressions, especially when giving negative feedback.

Learning to express one’s opinions clearly and firmly, or to “sing the opposite” straightforwardly, is an essential skill. In a cultural environment, we are often taught to be “gentle” and “mellow”, but in the process of working and interacting with people, you need to express your opinions directly, especially when you hold negative opinions. Don’t maintain false “peace” because of fear of conflict. The most direct expression can not only save a lot of time and improve communication efficiency, but also prevent possible small mistakes from turning into bigger mistakes.

Sometimes, you may feel that the overall situation is settled and expressing your thoughts does not change the direction or decision of things, but you still need to do this, because you need to let the other person understand what you are thinking, and your opinion is equally possible Affect future decisions.

To make matters worse, some people did not make a statement during the discussion, but if something happened and led to a bad result, they would jump out and speak out, thinking that who made the mistake should be condemned; and The person at will tell everyone his dissatisfaction with a certain person, but he did not tell him. These communication methods may bury fatal hidden dangers for the relationship between two people in the future.

3. But don’t mistake “direct” expressions for “offensive” expressions. Don’t bring your own emotions into the discussion.

“Direct” and “attack” are two very different ways of expressing opinions. Direct expression needs to be established on the basis that you consider all aspects of the matter, respect and analyze the other’s ideas, clarify your own needs and ideas, and then clearly state them. It is constructive and insightful; and offensive , It is to blindly oppose the objective situation, the ideas and needs of both parties. It is emotional.

When communicating in work and life, we need to discuss the event itself, rather than coerce ourselves and the other party with emotions. The more important things you communicate, the more you have to make sure that you make a calm response (responding) rather than an emotional reaction (reacting). Don’t yell at colleagues or subordinates because of the frustration in your life, and don’t respond quickly and perfunctorily without reading emails or WeChat carefully because you are in a bad mood. At any time, your expression and response should be calm, which is a performance of being responsible to the other party and yourself.



4. Discuss the matter and do not artificially expand the scope of discussion.

When you are giving feedback, don’t turn this expression into a personal attack on the other party, break away from the facts being discussed, and blame the other party’s personal character and behavior. For example, because you know that the other party has done some inappropriate behavior in private life, you say “You are a bastard” or “Your character has a problem, so I disagree with you”. This is a very serious cross-border behavior.

Always remember that communication is only here and now. When you are talking about this matter, you are only talking about the present, the matter itself. Sometimes, a communication turns into a dispute because the discussion has already jumped out of the scope of the original discussion and spread to other areas.

5. Don’t invade the private sphere too much-yours and yours.

Whether it’s work or life, when it comes to other people’s private lives and information, you must pay great attention to boundaries. Some people love to share their intimacy and past experiences, and they can tell the stories of themselves and ex’s to others without reservation, but this does not mean that the other party is willing to be exposed to the same Can accept your self-exposure comfortably).

In communication, many details are a manifestation of the lack of boundary awareness. Sometimes, you think that you are “enthusiastic,” but maybe just asking “Do you have a boyfriend?” is already an offense to others. When the other party shows you the photos on the phone, swiping your finger unconsciously to flip through the other party’s album may also make the other party very uncomfortable.

There is also a case of infringement of private boundaries, which is to talk about other people casually. You should not use other people’s gossip as your own talk, especially if you tell someone else’s personal story without confirmation and without the person’s consent.

6. Don’t always think about “winning” in a certain discussion.



Communication is not a contest or exam, there is no “win” or “loss”. Whether you are a member of the same team, a partner, or a friend and a lover, your goal in communication is the same-to make the other party understand your message and express your own views in the most efficient way. Therefore, even if you are having a very fierce debate, each of your opinions should be based on the discussion itself, not to “win” the debate.

No one is always right, not to mention the opinions of others will give you a great help. When the other party makes a negative opinion, always remember not to rush to correct the other party, and don’t mistakenly think that your purpose is to persuade the other party to accept your point of view. When you find that you are wrong, have the courage to admit it. Admitting mistakes is not showing weakness, it does not mean that you are worse than others, on the contrary, it is a mature performance.

7 factors for good communication

Mind Tools, a research institution on interpersonal communication skills, concluded that in daily interpersonal communication, whether it is meeting, telephone, email, report or speaking, you need to do 7 methods:

1. Clear: Whether it is speaking or writing, clearly conveying your message and goals is the first step, whether it is oral language or body language. Think clearly before speaking: Why do you want to communicate with the other party? If you are not even sure about yourself, it will be more difficult for the other party to determine your intentions.

2. Concise: If you want the other person to better understand what you are talking about, remove unnecessary information. Don’t go around. If you can express it in 3 sentences, don’t express it in 6 sentences.

3. Concrete: Describe some necessary details and facts (small, focused) so that the other party can better understand what you are describing.

4. Correct: Accurate here refers to being able to make the other party understand accurately. The vocabulary and language you use must be accurate, and your description must be such that the other party does not appear to be biased in understanding.

5. Coherent: Your statement needs to be inherently logical. All the points you have said must be able to connect and serve the topic you are exposing.

6. Complete: If your statement is complete, the other party will not miss your information or instructions. For example, after you explain the background of an event, you also need to tell the other party what to do, and what conditions and preparations you need to have to do it.

7. Courteous: Polite and courteous communication is not only friendly in attitude, but also open and sincere. There are no hidden denials and insults, and no passive attacks. When you respond to the other party, you have fully respected and considered Ta’s opinions.