An interesting phrase and one of the presuppositions of NLP, originally cited in Watzlawick, Beavin and Jackson's five axioms of human communication.
Every time we are in the presence of another human being, we are communicating because even saying nothing is a form of communication!
So the opportunities to make mistakes, be ambiguous and mis-communicate are quite high really! On reflection, I've been doing this a lot this week because I've noticed that a number of communications have not panned out as I expected!
The benefit of knowing something about NLP is that I can look back on communications that may not have gone according to plan and recognise the part I played in creating the mis-communication!
My learning (which I seem to have to relearn every week!) is the benefit of pausing, reflecting and asking myself questions when I don't get the response I was expecting:
How could I have communicated that more clearly?
What could I have said that may have provoked a different response?
What communication method may have been more effective than the one I chose?
What might be going on for the other person that I am not even aware of and that might have contributed to the response?
Thankfully, hindsight is a wonderful thing and life is one long learning experience!