Failure to Communicate Miscommunication

Failure to Communicate Miscommunication

COM 200 Week 1 Assignment 1

Read Chapter 1 of Making Connections: Understanding Interpersonal Communication, and focus on Sections 1.2 (noise) and 1.4 (principles of effective and competent communication).
Watch the A Failure to Communicate
In your paper,
Describe two or more instances of miscommunication in the A Failure to Communicate 

Miscommunication is defined as inadequacy in communication (Bevan & Kathy, 2014).  In the video, “A Failure to Communicate,” when the initiator of the conversation starts by humbly interrupting the other person by using interjection, “excuse me,” and the recipient fails to respond, that is miscommunication. The initiator is forced to greet the recipient, “hello,” but again, she does not respond. The recipient produces a gadget that lets the initiator know that she is dumb, and the initiator’s audio can be converted to text by the device. The initiator resumes the conversation, but she interrupted by the passing train, and she ends giving an incomplete message. This is another scenario of miscommunication. When the initiator repeats the message, the audio-text convertor power goes low and shuts down, leading to another instance of miscommunication. The two start to communicate using hand signs, but they cannot understand each other, thus, a miscommunication instance.

Describe two of the six basic principles of effective interpersonal communication, utilizing Bevan (Section 1.4)

Among the six principles of communication by Bevan & Kathy (2014), the two discussed in this paper are taking responsibility for your behavior and acknowledging other people’s views. The first principle aims at acknowledging one’s action in the communication. Accepting the responsibility of personal behavior in the communication shows that the individual is accepting personal responsibility, including owning their behavior as well as the arising consequences (Bevan & Kathy, 2014). When the individual accepts responsibility, it is an indication that they are likely to develop self-respect and also respect others.

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The principle of acknowledging other people’s views, on the other hand, focuses on accepting other people’s contributions, presence, and narratives in communication. The individual will show respect and acknowledgment to other people’s views if they listen to them when they speak, they do not let them feel uncomfortable through intimidation, they show consistency and honesty, they agree whenever possible, seek advice, they are ready to help, and they avoid instances that can lead to conflicts.

Explain how the characters in the video follow or do not follow the two principles identified, utilizing Bevan.

The guest in the video “how to build you confidence- and spark it in others” exhibit accepting the responsibility of her behavior when she uses her scenario to emphasize on how to build self-confidence. For example, she says, “I am completely obsessed with confidence” (Packnett, 2019). She also includes herself as part of the audience by using the pronoun “we” repeatedly. Although the speaker has concentrated mainly on her journey of building confidence, she also seems to acknowledge other people’s views by using the example of her mother and Purity. The latter is among the eight Maasai women seeking empowerment in Kenya.

Explain one or more form(s) of noise from Bevan (Section 1.2) and how it caused the miscommunication in the video, utilizing Bevan. These include physical, physiological, psychological, and semantic noise. Discuss how this noise can be overcome, based on advice from Bevan.

The speaker in the video “how to build your confidence – and spark it in others” portrays psychological noise. The speaker already has preconceived notions and assumptions that confidence can only be built through permission, community, and curiosity. There might be other ways through which people could establish their confidence, and it would have been appropriate for the speaker to overcome this form of noise by researching the talk. The speaker’s qualities about confidence appear to affect the ways she communicates about the subject as well as how she interprets other people’s opinions about confidence.


Bevan, J. L., & Kathy, S. (2014). Making Connections: Understanding Interpersonal Communication. Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

Packnett, B. (2019, April). Brittany Packnett at TED2019: How to build your confidence – and    spark it in others (Links to an external site.) [Video file]. Retrieved            from https://www.ted.com/talks/brittany_packnett_how_to_build_your_confidence_and            spark_it_in_others#t-791205

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