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

How do you miscommunicate? Take our quiz.

Updated: Dec 2, 2022

The words Take Our Quiz!

How do you miscommunicate? Let me count the ways!

I have personified 11 common ways we miscommunicate, giving each one a “face” and a name. This creates concrete villains which are more fun to defeat than abstract concepts. For example, misunderstanding becomes Miss Understanding.

Curious which ones you deal with most often or that cause you the most grief? Take our quiz. Find out who your “arch-nemesis” is. Challenge yourself to adopt the practical strategies provided and read more about each one at the links provided.

Take our quiz: Who is YOUR miscommunication arch-nemesis?

Read each description of miscommunication and determine how often it occurs in your personal experience by assigning a score of 1-5, as described below.

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

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

  2. I find errors in the messages I send or receive, such as improper word choice or grammar, switching negative and positive, inaccurate figures or statistics, and more.

  3. I struggle with correctly pronouncing many words.

  4. I am challenged to catch changes autocorrect makes in my emails or text messages, which end up changing the meaning of my messages.

  5. The messages I send or receive, whether spoken or written, are clear to me but I find out they were understood differently by the person(s) I am communicating with.

  6. I have trouble accurately expressing or perceiving emotions and feelings in the messages I send or receive, especially without the benefit of voice tone and facial expressions.

  7. I find myself (or if not me, others I communicate with), falling for headlines or articles that have an element of truth but turn out to be false or exaggerated.

  8. I say or write messages that end up being received incorrectly due to being incomplete or potentially misleading, assuming the receiver will “get” what my message implies.

  9. I find myself (or if not me, others I communicate with), hesitant to ask for more details or explanation, resulting in inadequate information.

  10. I have difficulty putting complex information into layman’s terms and often use trendy words, professional jargon, or popular catchphrases.

  11. I am frustrated when messages are not acknowledged or answered. Or, others complain that I do not answer their messages.

My total score is: ________

  • A total score greater than 50 indicates you are a communication wizard – you rarely encounter miscommunication!

  • A total score between 25 and 50 indicates that you are a proficient communicator in many areas and struggle in others. Focus on those areas needing improvement to build your communication skills.

  • A total score less than 25 suggests the need for some serious communication corrections.

Identify your “arch-nemesis” and tackle each miscommunication challenge:

Match the descriptions from the quiz that you scored 1 or 2 (or whatever your lowest score was), with the numbers for each miscommunication character pictured below.

  • Identify your biggest challenges by name because it’s fun to name villains (and hurricanes)!

  • See what they are also known as (AKA), and…

  • Try the suggested prevention strategies and use the link to read the blog post about each one. For active links scroll below the table.

Links to blog posts about each type of miscommunication:

Conquer miscommunication!

Miscommunication will be a constant foe to overcome. To conquer miscommunication, we must strive to continually improve our communication skills. As we state in Communicating Nutrition: The Authoritative Guide: “Effective communicators are made, not born.” (page 22)

Looking to improve your skills?

Congratulations on taking the first step to communicating with excellence – assessment. Now, keep moving and improving.

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

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