1Understanding Communication and Miscommunication

The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.

George Bernard Shaw

Even with the most simple of communications – one person says something to another, the other person replies – both people may think they understand what's passed between them, but often communication has not occurred. Instead, what has occurred is a miscommunication – the meaning has not been understood as the speaker intended it to be.

Take these exchanges between a Mum and Dad and their two young children. Dad is making breakfast. Mum is in the shower.

Dad: Josh, go and ask Mummy if she wants an egg.

Josh: OK! (runs to bathroom. Runs back to kitchen).

  1. She said YES! (Runs out of ...

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