Clear and effective communication is the cornerstone of a dynamic work environment. 72% of leaders even credit effective communication to increase productivity. Still, misunderstandings among colleagues are common, leading to potential conflict and disruptions to workflow.  

Addressing these challenges proactively can transform misalignment into opportunities for greater understanding and growth. In fact, strong communication practices lead to positive impacts on customer satisfaction, brand reputation and the bottom line 

Let’s explore actionable strategies to navigate and resolve disconnects to streamline communication inside your organization. 

6 Steps to Reduce Misalignment 

#1 – Pause and Reflect 

The first step to approaching a possible communication error starts with individual, internal work. Consider your own role in the outcomes. By reflecting on what was said and unsaid in the conversation, email or presentation, you can pinpoint where gaps may have come from.  

Take a few moments to check in with yourself, allowing space to identify what was misinterpreted. Depending on the medium used, it may be helpful to let your counterpart know that you will get back to them so you can then focus on responding instead of reacting 

Emergenetics® participants: If you know the Emergenetics Profiles of your colleagues, be sure to reflect on both of your preferences and consider how these inclinations may have impacted your perception of the situation as well as that of others. 

#2 – Assume Positive Intent 

By choosing to believe that everyone involved has the best intentions in mind, you can steer the situation with less negative emotion and focus on finding a productive resolution. A well-intentioned mindset paves the way for a constructive dialogue and helps preserve working relationships.  

Remember: Frustrations can bubble over when misunderstandings occur, especially when timelines, results or feelings may be affected, so it is vital to begin with Step #1 to ensure you have a strong sense of your own reactions. For more tips on how to get in the practice of assuming positive intent, take a look at a recent blog post. 

#3 – Set an Encouraging Tone 

After introspection set the stage for a conversation by creating a safe space for open, honest dialogue. Our research at Emergenetics indicates that about 55% of the population has a Social preference. To avoid further communication misfires with more than half of your audience, express genuine appreciation for your counterparts’ willingness to discuss the matter and share their perspective. 

Take turns sharing with each other. Active listening will ensure everyone has a chance to offer their input without interruption, providing an opportunity for all viewpoints to be heard. Prioritizing mutual respect and vulnerability will lay the groundwork for a favorable resolution. 

#4 – Analyze the Situation 

Next, review what happened to get to the source of the miscommunication. Investigate the facts, consider what was communicated and identify where things might have gone awry. Tools like the Five Whys Technique become invaluable to peel back the layers of the challenge and reveal the underlying causes of the misunderstanding. 

Also, being cognizant of the mix of individual communication styles, preferences and even cultural differences that contribute to different interpretations of information and style can provide insights into how to avert similar issues. 

#5 – Identify Possible Solutions 

To brainstorm about potential rectifications, consider:  

  • What do we need to do now?  
  • What can we do to avoid a similar outcome in the future?  

The first question will allow you to determine options for how to proceed to address the circumstance at hand. Sometimes, the misalignment is simple and requires little “fixing” other than acknowledgment. In other cases, the impact could be larger, and priorities may need to be reworked.  

In the second question, revisit the root cause of the challenge and discuss ways to adjust the group’s approach to information exchanges. Being mindful of one another’s Emergenetics preferences can also reveal opportunities to strengthen communication. 

#6 – Determine Next Steps and Agreements 

Finish the conversation by defining the next steps that need to be taken. To establish clarity and commitment moving forward, be mindful to:  

  1. Initiate a timeline  
  2. Ask clarifying questions 
  3. Restate what you have heard  

Following the best practices above will ensure that all parties are in alignment with one another. As a final tip, encourage each person to commit to one practice to reduce miscommunication in the future.  

Emergenetics users: Download our Attributes in Action Guides on Emergenetics+ for more communication tips. 

Actionable tools and resources like Emergenetics can offer additional learnings and strategies to enhance the way teams communicate. Embracing skill development can help individuals and departments better understand and leverage their diverse communication styles for more cohesive collaboration. 

The strategies outlined in this blog will do more than simply help you resolve misunderstandings. They will also empower you to build a culture where every voice is heard and each perspective is valued. As a result, you’ll create a workplace that’s not only more pleasant to work in – it’s also more innovative, supportive and productive. 

Discover how Emergenetics influences better organizational communication. Visit our website, download our Mitigating Miscommunication eBook or fill out the form below to speak with one of our team members today! 


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