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Analysis of the Misunderstanding Experienced - Essay Sample

4 pages
840 words
Middlebury College
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Miscommunication is a common problem that occurs in our everyday lives. Miscommunication leads to the distortion of the information and so the whole meaning. The miscommunication that I will provide in this case occurred between my friend, Davis and me. Davis had previously accepted to pay me a visit to my house in one of the weekends. In the morning of that day, I decided to inform him to meet me at the 7-Eleven in Bend at 10 a.m. So when the time came, I went to the one nearest my house to collect him with the hope that he had arrived have we had agreed previously. To my amazement, Davis had gone to meet with the 7-Eleven at the downtown nearly 7 miles away from where I stay. Based on the fact that this was the first time he was visiting me at my place, he was not well conversant with the streets within the Bend area. I, therefore, had to travel all the way from where I was to pick him up. Despite all these, we were able to meet each other after a period nearing one hour and went on with the days business as we had previously planned. As part of the experiences, I realized that this was an opportunity to experience and learn some of the potential things and implications that could result in the event of miscommunication between two or more individuals. It is essential for us to learn how to make sense of the information that another party has presented as well as to be able to communicate what is understandable to the other person.

Explanation and Definition of Terms used

The concepts experienced in this particular miscommunication event were largely verbal communication. Specifically, connotation was a major concept or dimension associated with the interpersonal conversation between Davis and me. Connotation refers to the feelings and emotions that accompany a word. While it is evident that words have literal meanings, but may have different meanings depending on the context being spoken. During out interpersonal communication between Davis and myself, I said to him, Meet me at 7-Eleven in Bend. This form of communication served as a vehicle through which I could express my desire, ideas, and concepts to my friend through the use of words and signs. Additionally, my friend also got the opportunity to learn about various ways through which he could avoid the simple misunderstanding that can easily be avoided during interpersonal communication. When using the Richards Triangle of Meaning, I realized that words mean different things to different people within different contexts or situation. It implies that any sign or words that have its meaning is treated with particular references to it (Solomon & Theiss, 2012). The process that involves managing and grasping words that have implications, with the said meaning given by texts is known as the meaning of meaning. With this regard, Davis was able to interpret 7-Eleven in my assertions opposite to my expectations and intentions. Besides, the word 7-Eleven could be a general term, which could be used to describe various avenue in Bend, Oregon such as Galveston or Green-Wood.

Strategies for Improving Interpersonal Communication

A clear strategy for improving my interpersonal communication in an encounter such as this is required. This will help minimize or prevent miscommunication that occurs in the verbal form of communication that involves the use words and symbols (Wood, 2015). Additionally, it will help reduce poor word choice, differing perspectives, and faulty communication techniques. The subjective opinions concerning the acceptable language can also result in miscommunication (Lane, 2016). The first step to achieve all these would be to consider the message I wish to communicate before speaking and communicating it concerning the point of view of the recipient. Secondly, I will have to pay attention to what I say and the manner in which I mean it. In my case, for example, I would instead say that Meet me at 7-Eleven at Green-Wood Avenue or Galveston Avenue, not just 7-Eleven. The third strategy would be to speak clearly and enunciate my words so that the recipient be able to get the words as they are uttered properly. I will also become conscious of the non-verbal aspects such as the paralanguage when expressing ideas that need emphasis. Ideally, this can largely entail the use of proper tones and intonation when expressing oneself through the spoken words. Lastly, asking the recipient to repeat what they heard can also help to eliminate any potential miscommunication during interpersonal communication. In this case, for example, I could ask, Davis, before we wrap up this call, can you please confirm where we will meet and what time? This does not only force them to articulate what I said in their own words but also reduces the risks of misunderstanding.


Lane, S. D. (2016). Interpersonal communication: Competence and contexts. Routledge.

Speech 2018; Interpersonal Communication Central Oregon Community College-Winter Term 2018 MW 8:45-10:05 AM Redmond, Oregon Mike ArtusSolomon, D., & Theiss, J. (2012). Interpersonal communication: Putting theory into practice. Routledge.

Wood, J. T. (2015). Interpersonal communication: Everyday encounters. Nelson Education.

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