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  • Writer's pictureBarbara Mayfield, MS, RDN, LD, FAND

Who is your “arch-nemesis”?

Updated: May 22, 2023

miscommunication characters are illustrated and named

Miscommunication is the failure to communicate adequately. It occurs in a multitude of ways, including communication that is confusing, unclear, uses words or examples receivers don’t understand, or contains mistakes.

Miscommunication can result in frustration, broken relationships, and errors that can be costly or even deadly.

Everyone deals with miscommunication. No one is immune. We can all benefit from identifying the miscommunication challenges we face most often and then learning and practicing strategies to improve our communication skills.

Miscommunication has a face and a name.

To assist people in identifying the ways we miscommunicate, I have created 11 personas. Each character describes a common way we miscommunicate, such as Miss Pronounce, Miss Understanding, and Miss Information.

Putting a name and a face on each miscommunication “villain” makes it more fun to battle and conquer these foes.

Have you ever wondered why meteorologists name hurricanes? It helps us communicate about them and take corrective action to stay safe. It makes them more memorable.

In the same way, naming the different ways we experience miscommunication makes them more tangible and therefore more easily addressed. Take that, Miss Aligned! Get lost, Miss Conception!

Identify your miscommunication arch-nemesis.

I have created a quiz to help you identify your miscommunication “arch-nemesis.” You can find a link to the quiz on my website at the top of the home page or blog page. You will be sent a PDF that contains the quiz as well as solutions to overcome each challenge.

Here is an example of a question on the quiz:

How often does this happen to you?

“I push “send” on a text or email, and then notice one or more typos or misspelled words.”

1 = very often – daily or nearly every day

2 = quite often – one or more times per week

3 = occasionally – less than once a week

4 = seldom or infrequent

5 = rarely or never occurs

If you answered 1 or 2, this is definitely an “arch-nemesis.” If you answered 3, it is likely still an annoyance.

Miss Spelled

Who is this? It is Miss Spelled, also known as “the typo.”

The solution is quite simple and straightforward:

Check your messages. Proofread! Every. Single. Message.

Hopefully, you haven't gotten a misspelled tattoo - those are common and quite permanent!

Enjoy taking the quiz and seeing what your miscommunication challenges are.

Put the solutions into practice and improve your score!

“Communication works for those who work at it.” ~ John Powell

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