“I thought you meant something different” … is an age old reason for miscommunications!
Two people, looking at different aspects of the same situation, see something different – and don’t verify for clarification. What is meant is not being communicated and the only way to judge is by the results. How often has the direct opposite than you intended from your message being carried out? Perhaps verification would have solved the problem?
Verify or paraphrase to make sure that the sender and receiver of the communication clearly understand each other. The sender verifies and most importantly asks the receiver to verify what they understand is meant before going ahead and doing the wrong thing very well. This is one of the worst uses of time and live – doing the wrong thing very well.
To eliminate confusion and misinterpretation in communications and to verify what you understand, use phrases like:
“What I hear you say is …
What I understand you to mean is…”