It happens all the time. Miscommunication is a common occurrence. We’re human after all.

As I began writing this, I realized there are a million different topics to be covered within the realm of miscommunication. Clearly, not all can be covered here (hence the reason I plan to write a whole book on communication (and the “mis”) one day – plug!), so, I’m only going to focus on a single aspect of miscommunication: your choice of words.

Sometimes poor communication sounds like, “I don’t get it”, other times it’s something to the effect of, “But that’s not what I thought you meant”, or even, “hey, you never said that” only to hear the other person retort back with, “um, yes I did”.

Poor choice of words

Whatever it is you’re trying to say, are you able to articulate yourself? This is unbelievably important. Think of the words you’re using to describe or explain something. What words did you choose, and were they the best possible ones you could have selected?

An easy way to figure out the answer to this last question is by the way in which your recipient responds. Do they get it? If so, you likely did a good job of communicating. If they don’t, there’s a possibility that you didn’t communicate it as well as you could have.

But here’s the good part: you can work on this to make improvements.

Selecting the right words

Take a breath. Think before you speak. Consider your audience.


It’s like anything else – the more you work at it, the better you become.

Talk, share, speak with others. Most importantly, do your double-check. Ask the person you’re speaking with what their take is on what you’ve said. Does it line up? If not, explain. See where you went wrong. Come to a united understanding. Then you’ll know you’ve done it right.