talk at cross purposes

talk at cross purposes

To talk with others in a way that maintains conflict or opposition. You will never find success if you continue to talk at cross purposes with your teammates.
See also: cross, purpose, talk

be/talk at cross ˈpurposes

(of two people or groups) misunderstand what the other is referring to or trying to do: Mary and I spoke about Anne for a minute or two before I realized we were talking at cross purposes: I meant Anne Smith and Mary meant Anne Harris.
See also: cross, purpose, talk
References in periodicals archive ?
Puigdemont and Rajoy still talk at cross purposes, with the former indicating willingness to meet outside Spain and the latter refusing to engage.
The 2014-2020 multiannual financial framework (MFF) negotiations are still in limbo as the Council and the European Parliament continue to talk at cross purposes.
They talk at cross purposes, but the affection is clearly there.