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The 18 most frequent communication problems and errors

The 18 most frequent communication problems and errors

June 20, 2024

The vast majority of conflicts between people (or companies) are in communication . Even though we all communicate with other people or groups, we do not always do it the right way.

Whether with the couple, friends or with the employees of our company, communication errors can arise at any time, so it is important to detect them.

Consequences of poor communication

Communication problems occur in all interpersonal relationships, and if not resolved properly, can trigger endless battles and bad relationships, for example, with a partner or co-workers. The communication includes at least two people, and although this seems basic, we do not always take it into account.


The importance of communication is such that even psychologists teach their patients social and relational skills, since the source of conflicts lies many times in these skills. Likewise, a company can see its results reduced by the bad relationship between co-workers or by not being able to reach the workers with their needs.

The most frequent communication errors

Now, what are the main mistakes that humans can make about communication? What communication problems are the most common? In the following lines I explain it to you in detail.

Some basic communication problems

Some problems that can occur in different areas of daily life (in the relationship of couple, between friends, at work, etc.) are the following.


1. Hear or listen?

It often happens that we think we are listening to a person and what we are really doing is hearing . Hearing and listening are not the same. To be able to listen you have to make use of active listening, which not only pays attention to the words a person says, but also to their body language and non-verbal and emotional communication in general.

Active listening improves interpersonal relationships because it improves communication.

  • If you want to know more about this concept, you can read our article: "Active listening: the key to communicating with others"

2. Say what you think without taking others into account

In these situations in which active listening is not used, it is common for people to say what they have in mind instead of paying full attention to what the other interlocutor says. That's why active listening is important, because it puts us in the other person's skin, allows us to understand their true emotions and capture the message appropriately. This also helps the other person understand that we are interested in what he says .


On the other hand, there are many situations in which individuals already know what they are going to say even before the other interlocutor has finished speaking, either because of the prejudices they have or because they both have a conflict, they are on the defensive and They want to be right at all costs. In this way, it is impossible for good communication to flow and for constructive debate to appear.

3. Talk or say?

Whether in written or spoken language, speaking is not the same as saying: the important thing is not to talk or write much but to do it with brevity and precision . It is not about making use of many words but about using the right intensity and depth, to communicate something interesting.

4. Lack of confidence

Lack of trust can mean that we do not properly express what we want to say and, in many cases, can lead to a lack of assertiveness , not being able to express the opinions of oneself correctly, of not placing limits on relationships and, therefore, on the good progress of communication.

5. Lack of credibility

Like the lack of confidence, the lack of credibility is also important when communicating with other people, either with our partner, in a company or when making a speech in public.

The credibility favors that the other interlocutor feels comfortable and, consequently, the trust between both increases.

6. Lack of empathy

Empathy is a basic social skill that is necessary to be able to coexist with others. It is intimately related to the fact of not only expressing what one thinks, because it allows one to understand the other interlocutor and his point of view. It is key to being able to send a clear and precise message.

7. Bad emotional validation

Emotional validation is a concept that is increasingly used, and is possessed by those with a high emotional intelligence. It consists of accepting and giving feedback to others not only with words, but also with non-verbal language.

It favors good communication, because the other individual understands that it is being understood, recognized and understood, and, consequently, increases the verbalization of it.

8. Poor nonverbal language

We often pay close attention to words and forget non-verbal language. According to the results of an investigation carried out by Albert Mehrabian, the verbal component is 35% and more than 65% is non-verbal communication . This includes body posture, eye contact or gestures.

This should happen naturally, but in some cases, for example when we are not relaxed, our nonverbal language does not allow us to convey what we are trying to say.

9. Poor verbal language

The tone of voice, that is, not talking too loud or soft, dragging words, or using too many filling terms like "ah", "eh" or "um" can cause the message with the speaker to lose strength. a good capacity for improvisation and, in short, saying correctly what we want the other person to hear improves communication.

10. Problems when reading and writing

A good ability to read and write is extremely important in some contexts , for example, in the digital world: when writing a blog and getting the message of a company to a potential client or when sending an email to a recruiter to seduce and make you see that we are the best candidates .

Not reading well or writing well clearly affects the understanding and expression of the message in these contexts.

11. Disrespect

People open up more to others when they respect us , so that respect is a basic communicative skill that we must take into account when communicating effectively. It is just as important to show credibility. In a couple relationship, for example, a sign of affection or a nice gesture shows that we respect our beloved and, as a result, improves closeness, trust and communication with that person.

12. Bad persuasion and negotiation skills

Persuasion allows to transform ideas, beliefs, behaviors and attitudes, thus satisfying the needs of both interlocutors, it is key in the business environment, but also in everyday life.

Persuasion is key in negotiation that, in turn, is key in interpersonal relationships. Negotiating and reaching agreements so that the needs of both are, at least in part, covered improves interpersonal relationships and fluid communication among the actors.

Communication skills when speaking in public

To speak in public it is also necessary to master a series of communication skills that allow to captivate the audience and keep it entertained and attentive.

The most common errors that can occur when speaking in public are:

1. Lack of initial rapport

Rapport is a phenomenon in which two people feel in tune both mentally and emotionally. It is key to bring the person closer and connect with the message, especially when the two people do not know each other, as is often the case in a talk or public presentation. When this connection does not exist, there will not be good communication either.

2. Lack of sense of humor

In a context such as public speaking, One of the best ways to connect with the audience is to make use of the sense of humor . Thanks to the sense of humor, the attention and retention capacity of the listener's information increases.

When the talk or exhibition is too serious, it usually bores and does not help the communication flow.

  • We explain this and other benefits in our article: "The 9 benefits of having a sense of humor"

3. Rigidity in the use of body language

When the person feels nervous, which is something that can happen when someone confronts an audience, usually expresses that nervousness through body language. The lack or excess of gesticulation, poor posture, and poor eye contact are some examples .

4. Excessive information and too intellectual content

This can happen especially in oral presentations, when the person making the presentation is not precise and concise and does not connect emotionally with the audience since the information is too intellectual.

Excess information gets boring , and it is a very frequent error when the needs and interest of the audience are not taken into account.

5. Scenic fear

Scenic fear negatively affects communication in different ways , both in nonverbal and verbal language. When someone does not have enough self-confidence, the audience will notice it and, therefore, there will not be a good emotional connection with it.

6. Inappropriate use of silence

Silence can be a great tool when speaking in public, it is an element of communication in itself, whose value can be equated to that of the word; but nevertheless, when the person misuses it, it can become boring and ruin the flow of a talk, lecture or oral presentation .


The communication error we all make, and how it intensifies conflict | Esther Perel (June 2024).


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