Whenever there are people, there is miscommunication. Do you agree?
Scenario 1: There is a defective product found at the production department, the defect is minor, with minor rework, the issue can be settled and the product can be sent to the customer on time. But an employee does not communicate well, the minor defect is described as major, different departments start blaming each other and it affects the delivery.
Scenario 2: Your in-laws are visiting you but because of miscommunication between you and your spouse, both of you fail to pick them up at the train station. To make matter worse, it is a raining day and your in-laws fall sick because of nobody picking them up at the train station. How the story goes? I would imagine a disaster brewing.
Last week was a busy week for me. My mum was staying with me for a week for the first time after I got married. The week before last week, my maternal grandmother was staying with my mum after my mum got married for so many years.
My relationship with my mum is not the intimate type as some mother-daughter relationships. Thus, the experience from last two weeks let me relook into mother-daughter relationship.
My grandmother is a quiet person. If you ask her what she would like for lunch, she will just say “anything will do”. Behind the “anything will do”, she does pick what she likes to eat and leave those that she does not like to eat. So, what my mum does is to observe what my grandmother eats and what she does not eat.
I am luckier than my mum. When I ask my mum the same question, she answers with specific answers so that I will not buy the wrong food. My mum provides me with direct answer, so I do not need to spend time observing. The observation method needs more time and you need to do trial and error too. (According to my mum, my grandmother has changed her taste over time.)
Two mother-daughter relationships, two different communication styles. My mum observes and I listen. There is no perfect way to communicate. We will adapt our communication skills depending on who we are communicating with. With our loved ones, we do our best to get the best results from communication, whether it is by listening or observation or both.
Miscommunication can happen anytime, anywhere. During communication, both parties, the speaker and the listener, play a part. The speaker speaks clearly and the listener listens carefully. Both parties need to look for non-verbal clues as well. Happy communicating!