Our teacher told us a story about how miscommunication took a person's life. It is from a time of the Kings and Queens. A man is brought to the King because he committed a crime. He pleads that he is innocent. Eventually, a verdict was passed that he should be hanged. So, he was taken to the place where he was to be hanged. Meanwhile, it came to the king's attention that, the man was indeed innocent. So, he ordered his messenger to deliver a message "stop, not kill him". The messenger went and delivered the message "stop not, kill him", so he was hanged. A misplaced comma took a man's life.
It is not very rare that a small miscommunication leads to disasters. A word delivered incorrectly makes a lot of difference. So what are the causes of such miscommunication?
Firstlythe major reason is that you are careless. You either don't listen to what the other person is saying, or that person just conveyed the message haphazardly. Sometimes when you are in a hurry, you don't pay attention and the other person also misses some points while conveying the message. Then there are assumptions, when you don't have the complete information, you start thinking like a "detective" and come up with an explanation for the half information you have, this eventually leads to misunderstanding.
Then, there are misinterpretations. We intend to deliver one message and the other person interprets that message in another way. This usually happens, either due to incorrect vocabulary or a wrong way of expressing things. People do not seem to pay much attention to these things since they consider them trivial. But they are not. This is the reason why there are so many misunderstandings.
Other reason for miscommunication, is the lack of skills, i.e., listening and speaking skills. When you do not have these skills, obviously miscommunication exists. We interpret the message in the wrong way and communicate in the wrong way. Also, if people are biased regarding anything, they usually tend to take everything about that negatively. They listen and speak about it negatively, hence misinterpreting it entirely.
If you know two or more languages, there's more possibility of making mistakes, since we keep translating a message in one language to another. This translation when done as it is, ignores all the correct grammar and vocabulary of that language.
Since so many misunderstandings and wrong information are a result of miscommunication, we have to be very careful about how we frame our sentences and how we understand what the other person us saying. Have a clear understanding about what you want to convey and do so correctly. Listen carefully to the other person, and if you are not sure, get it clarified again.