The number one reason for workplace miscommunication is assumptions. Most people, when communicating with others, assume that the recipient is already aware of the background or certain seemingly obvious parts of the communication, and omit such details. This is a big mistake, for the recipient may remain in the dark, or have a wrong picture.
Consider an example where a manager, when communicating change, makes the common mistake of assuming that the employees understand or can realize the benefits that the changes would bring, and do not make the benefits explicit. The manager might have made the assumption, considering what he did when the CEO communicated the same news to him, but overlooks the fact that not all employees have the same level or depth of knowledge, or the ability of critical insights that he might possess.
The information conveyed regarding the change might be that of a new work procedure to simplify things. Those with critical insight realize that the simplified procedure would mean an increase in productivity, and hence with an unchanged production incentive, more income for employees. Those with an understanding of the market would also know that the product is in demand, and that producing more will increase profits. The ordinary employees directly impacted by the news, but not having the ability to apply critical thinking or not having access to such information, however, remain anxious. They may see this simplified procedure leading to the need for fewer personnel, and hence take the communication as meaning imminent job cuts. Rumors soon start to develop and circulate, poisoning the environment.
Never leave anything to the imagination. Do not assume the recipient knows. Provide full details and state the obvious, even at the risk of sounding silly.