Many of the workplace challenges that I observe arise from expectations that one or more people involved in a discussion are clairvoyant. No one consciously admits this, of course. When Joan says she wants xyz and her direct report, Frank, says that she never mentioned xyz, this begins the unraveling of communication.
Actually, it’s not an unraveling, because there is nothing to undo. When Joan gets upset with Frank because he didn’t complete xyz, he looks like a deer in the headlights. He doesn’t have any idea what Joan is talking about.