In the age of instant gratification and communication, it is almost a quintessential experience to have felt that sinking, “Oh no” feeling of having just pressed “Send” on a message you should not have. Or even worse, getting a message where you have no idea how to interpret it. Unfortunately, this miscommunication happens far more often than it should.
The thing about miscommunication isn’t that we wanted to do it. Nobody does. Likewise, it’s also not realistic to have the goal to never miscommunicate. I propose that the thing that really matters is to figure out how to cut down on the amount of time between when we miscommunicate and when we realize and fix it.
That’s why emails work better than texts and phone calls work better than messages. The more connected you are to a person, the more you can interpret their message and can fix what’s being said. And the more engaged you are in the conversation the faster you can understand what’s really being said.
The irony is that we all know this but continue to ignore it. We continue to send texts, to write quickly and to ignore how others might interpret it. Significant others we are involved with. Parents that we take for granted. Bosses that we work with. And entire organizations with hundreds of misunderstood messages every single day. In all these scenarios, we ignore the obvious fact the more we can understand and engage with people with talk to and the more we can put ourselves in other people’s shoes, the better off we will be.
In today’s world of Instant Miscommunication, real human interactions are less frequent but more important than ever before.