Discussion:
Phrase to describe a polite resolution of a miscommunication?
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Paul Epstein
2021-05-02 19:25:05 UTC
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I'm looking for some good words or phrases for describing the following
common scenario in work environments:

A gives B verbal instructions.
Later, it transpires that the communication was unsuccessful -- B did
different things from what A intended.
However, the environment is such that all parties just want to get things done.
No one cares whether A misspoke, B misremembered, or whether there
was a bit of both.
Although A and B privately think it was the others' fault, their main concern
is to be as polite and therefore apologetic as possible.
So A says "I'm sorry. I must have given you unclear instructions.
I'll try and be clearer this time....
And B says "No, not at all. I'm sure your instructions were correct. It's
just that I forgot to .... It's my fault."

What are some good words/ phrases to describe this common scenario.
The beginning could be described as a "miscommunication".
But I'm not sure how to describe this standard type of polite resolution.

Thank you.

Paul Epstein
Stefan Ram
2021-05-02 19:48:28 UTC
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Post by Paul Epstein
What are some good words/ phrases to describe this common scenario.
If I may coin something, maybe it's "British" - because some
say that in England, when someone steps on someone's shoes,
they /both/ excuse.

(Here in Berlin, I have observed this even to a kind of an
ironic degree. Once I was in a hurry and I cut off someone
in a rude way when walking in a crowded place. Even though I
was recognizably the culprit, he then said "Sorry!" to /me/.)
Post by Paul Epstein
But I'm not sure how to describe this standard type of polite resolution.
"the face-saving solution"?
"the solution saving everyone's face"? (But does it really?)
"the socially-educated solution"?
"the solution-focused behavior"?
CDB
2021-05-03 12:39:49 UTC
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Post by Paul Epstein
I'm looking for some good words or phrases for describing the
A gives B verbal instructions. Later, it transpires that the
communication was unsuccessful -- B did different things from what A
intended. However, the environment is such that all parties just want
to get things done. No one cares whether A misspoke, B misremembered,
or whether there was a bit of both. Although A and B privately think
it was the others' fault, their main concern is to be as polite and
therefore apologetic as possible. So A says "I'm sorry. I must have
given you unclear instructions. I'll try and be clearer this
time.... And B says "No, not at all. I'm sure your instructions were
correct. It's just that I forgot to .... It's my fault."
What are some good words/ phrases to describe this common scenario.
The beginning could be described as a "miscommunication". But I'm not
sure how to describe this standard type of polite resolution.
Compromise, or Canadian Standoff.
Paul Epstein
2021-05-03 12:54:52 UTC
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Post by CDB
Post by Paul Epstein
I'm looking for some good words or phrases for describing the
A gives B verbal instructions. Later, it transpires that the
communication was unsuccessful -- B did different things from what A
intended. However, the environment is such that all parties just want
to get things done. No one cares whether A misspoke, B misremembered,
or whether there was a bit of both. Although A and B privately think
it was the others' fault, their main concern is to be as polite and
therefore apologetic as possible. So A says "I'm sorry. I must have
given you unclear instructions. I'll try and be clearer this
time.... And B says "No, not at all. I'm sure your instructions were
correct. It's just that I forgot to .... It's my fault."
What are some good words/ phrases to describe this common scenario.
The beginning could be described as a "miscommunication". But I'm not
sure how to describe this standard type of polite resolution.
Compromise, or Canadian Standoff.
Thanks. I'm a bit surprised that this thread has attracted as little interest as it has (so far).
"Canadian standoff" seems like a perfect match for what I want, in terms of meaning.
So thanks a lot for that! Its drawback, though, is that, for me (in England), it seems
like a very obscure phrase. Before googling it, it was completely unfamiliar (to me).
I was hoping for a phrase that would make sense without me needing to explain it.
"Compromise" seems too generic for what I'm looking for. I don't think "compromise"
is a good match for meaning either. In a compromise, one side wants X to happen,
one side wants Y to happen, so a resolution is made which is partly X, and partly Y.
My situation is where both sides are falling over themselves to give as much as possible.

Paul Epstein
CDB
2021-05-03 15:53:16 UTC
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Post by Paul Epstein
Post by CDB
Post by Paul Epstein
I'm looking for some good words or phrases for describing the
A gives B verbal instructions. Later, it transpires that the
communication was unsuccessful -- B did different things from
what A intended. However, the environment is such that all
parties just want to get things done. No one cares whether A
misspoke, B misremembered, or whether there was a bit of both.
Although A and B privately think it was the others' fault, their
main concern is to be as polite and therefore apologetic as
possible. So A says "I'm sorry. I must have given you unclear
instructions. I'll try and be clearer this time.... And B says
"No, not at all. I'm sure your instructions were correct. It's
just that I forgot to .... It's my fault."
What are some good words/ phrases to describe this common
scenario. The beginning could be described as a
"miscommunication". But I'm not sure how to describe this
standard type of polite resolution.
Compromise, or Canadian Standoff.
Thanks. I'm a bit surprised that this thread has attracted as
little interest as it has (so far). "Canadian standoff" seems like a
perfect match for what I want, in terms of meaning. So thanks a lot
for that! Its drawback, though, is that, for me (in England), it
seems like a very obscure phrase. Before googling it, it was
completely unfamiliar (to me). I was hoping for a phrase that would
make sense without me needing to explain it. "Compromise" seems too
generic for what I'm looking for. I don't think "compromise" is a
good match for meaning either. In a compromise, one side wants X to
happen, one side wants Y to happen, so a resolution is made which is
partly X, and partly Y. My situation is where both sides are falling
over themselves to give as much as possible.
It's more of a Canadian joke. I didn't realise it would be googlable; I
just made it up out of "Mexican standoff" and a common American dig at
Canadians (step on a Canadian's foot and he will apologise).

Mutual exoneration?
bruce bowser
2021-05-05 00:00:54 UTC
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Post by CDB
Post by Paul Epstein
I'm looking for some good words or phrases for describing the
A gives B verbal instructions. Later, it transpires that the
communication was unsuccessful -- B did different things from what A
intended. However, the environment is such that all parties just want
to get things done. No one cares whether A misspoke, B misremembered,
or whether there was a bit of both. Although A and B privately think
it was the others' fault, their main concern is to be as polite and
therefore apologetic as possible. So A says "I'm sorry. I must have
given you unclear instructions. I'll try and be clearer this
time.... And B says "No, not at all. I'm sure your instructions were
correct. It's just that I forgot to .... It's my fault."
What are some good words/ phrases to describe this common scenario.
The beginning could be described as a "miscommunication". But I'm not
sure how to describe this standard type of polite resolution.
Compromise, or Canadian Standoff.
Thanks. I'm a bit surprised that this thread has attracted as little interest as it has (so far).
When people collect in places like this, genuine personal interest may trumped by the typical early-age playground instincts, like herding, peer pressure, etc..
bruce bowser
2021-05-03 12:55:25 UTC
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Post by Paul Epstein
I'm looking for some good words or phrases for describing the following
A gives B verbal instructions.
Later, it transpires that the communication was unsuccessful -- B did
different things from what A intended.
However, the environment is such that all parties just want to get things done.
No one cares whether A misspoke, B misremembered, or whether there
was a bit of both.
Although A and B privately think it was the others' fault, their main concern
is to be as polite and therefore apologetic as possible.
So A says "I'm sorry. I must have given you unclear instructions.
I'll try and be clearer this time....
And B says "No, not at all. I'm sure your instructions were correct. It's
just that I forgot to .... It's my fault."
What are some good words/ phrases to describe this common scenario.
It may depend partially on the background or the initial internal motivations of those involved. How can that be truly known or verified? Colors that may meet the eyes of the different parties (including the viewers/readers of this dispute). Sounds that may meet the ears of the parties involved during the dispute(s).
Post by Paul Epstein
The beginning could be described as a "miscommunication".
But I'm not sure how to describe this standard type of polite resolution.
... if all parties agreed, yes.
Post by Paul Epstein
Thank you.
Paul Epstein
Paul Epstein
2021-05-03 13:10:04 UTC
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Post by Paul Epstein
I'm looking for some good words or phrases for describing the following
A gives B verbal instructions.
Later, it transpires that the communication was unsuccessful -- B did
different things from what A intended.
However, the environment is such that all parties just want to get things done.
No one cares whether A misspoke, B misremembered, or whether there
was a bit of both.
Although A and B privately think it was the others' fault, their main concern
is to be as polite and therefore apologetic as possible.
So A says "I'm sorry. I must have given you unclear instructions.
I'll try and be clearer this time....
And B says "No, not at all. I'm sure your instructions were correct. It's
just that I forgot to .... It's my fault."
What are some good words/ phrases to describe this common scenario.
It may depend partially on the background or the initial internal motivations of those involved. How can that be truly known or verified? Colors that may meet the eyes of the different parties (including the viewers/readers of this dispute). Sounds that may meet the ears of the parties involved during the dispute(s).
Post by Paul Epstein
The beginning could be described as a "miscommunication".
But I'm not sure how to describe this standard type of polite resolution.
... if all parties agreed, yes.
I think "Canadian Standoff" is a good match for what I wanted.
Its only real drawback is its obscurity (at least in the UK).
So my question now is: Are there any phrases that are at least somewhat
similar to "Canadian Standoff" but are less obscure in UK usage?
Thank you,

Paul Epstein
Jerry Friedman
2021-05-03 16:09:18 UTC
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Post by Paul Epstein
I'm looking for some good words or phrases for describing the following
A gives B verbal instructions.
Later, it transpires that the communication was unsuccessful -- B did
different things from what A intended.
However, the environment is such that all parties just want to get things done.
No one cares whether A misspoke, B misremembered, or whether there
was a bit of both.
Although A and B privately think it was the others' fault, their main concern
is to be as polite and therefore apologetic as possible.
So A says "I'm sorry. I must have given you unclear instructions.
I'll try and be clearer this time....
And B says "No, not at all. I'm sure your instructions were correct. It's
just that I forgot to .... It's my fault."
What are some good words/ phrases to describe this common scenario.
The beginning could be described as a "miscommunication".
Or a misunderstanding.
Post by Paul Epstein
But I'm not sure how to describe this standard type of polite resolution.
They didn't bother to determine whose fault it was, waived the question
of blame, let the question of blame lie and moved on to more important
things.
--
Jerry Friedman
Paul Epstein
2021-05-03 18:29:29 UTC
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Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by Paul Epstein
I'm looking for some good words or phrases for describing the following
A gives B verbal instructions.
Later, it transpires that the communication was unsuccessful -- B did
different things from what A intended.
However, the environment is such that all parties just want to get things done.
No one cares whether A misspoke, B misremembered, or whether there
was a bit of both.
Although A and B privately think it was the others' fault, their main concern
is to be as polite and therefore apologetic as possible.
So A says "I'm sorry. I must have given you unclear instructions.
I'll try and be clearer this time....
And B says "No, not at all. I'm sure your instructions were correct. It's
just that I forgot to .... It's my fault."
What are some good words/ phrases to describe this common scenario.
The beginning could be described as a "miscommunication".
Or a misunderstanding.
Post by Paul Epstein
But I'm not sure how to describe this standard type of polite resolution.
They didn't bother to determine whose fault it was, waived the question
of blame, let the question of blame lie and moved on to more important
things.
Yes, that's quite a good one. Thanks.
bozo de niro
2021-05-05 17:23:13 UTC
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Post by Paul Epstein
I'm looking for some good words or phrases for describing the following
A gives B verbal instructions.
Later, it transpires that the communication was unsuccessful -- B did
different things from what A intended.
However, the environment is such that all parties just want to get things done.
No one cares whether A misspoke, B misremembered, or whether there
was a bit of both.
Although A and B privately think it was the others' fault, their main concern
is to be as polite and therefore apologetic as possible.
So A says "I'm sorry. I must have given you unclear instructions.
I'll try and be clearer this time....
And B says "No, not at all. I'm sure your instructions were correct. It's
just that I forgot to .... It's my fault."
What are some good words/ phrases to describe this common scenario.
The beginning could be described as a "miscommunication".
But I'm not sure how to describe this standard type of polite resolution.
Thank you.
Paul Epstein
Amicable

as in an amicable resolution

as in we both walk away and don't shoot each other
s***@my-deja.com
2021-05-05 23:17:45 UTC
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Post by Paul Epstein
I'm looking for some good words or phrases for describing the following
A gives B verbal instructions.
Later, it transpires that the communication was unsuccessful -- B did
different things from what A intended.
However, the environment is such that all parties just want to get things done.
No one cares whether A misspoke, B misremembered, or whether there
was a bit of both.
Although A and B privately think it was the others' fault, their main concern
is to be as polite and therefore apologetic as possible.
So A says "I'm sorry. I must have given you unclear instructions.
I'll try and be clearer this time....
And B says "No, not at all. I'm sure your instructions were correct. It's
just that I forgot to .... It's my fault."
What are some good words/ phrases to describe this common scenario.
The beginning could be described as a "miscommunication".
But I'm not sure how to describe this standard type of polite resolution.
"To preserve future relations, both parties took the blame"

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