I have had many teachers who taught me about different forms of communication in the almost 1500 hours I have worked in Asia. These lessons were all very hard for me to learn.
Here are some of the lessons I have learned:-
Khun Som from Bangkok taught me just how much content can be communicated by evasiveness.
Oya from Osaka taught me that in some instances, it takes years to formulate an answer and in the meantime, it is best to be silent.
Emma from Malaysia and Felipe from the Philippines have taught me that it is far better not to talk about certain things…so that communication can continue.
Bo-wei from Shanghai explained to me how `lying“ can be very truthful.
Igor from Moscow taught me that when he stops arguing with me, he no longer cares.
All the Asians, however, always understood how different I am and never tried to convert me. We thrived on our difficulty to communicate!
My frustration is that when I communicate with Americans(not all, but some) they want me to be like them…maybe this is just my feeling….but I always feel…when you `develop and transcend your savage hang ups, you and I can communicate…. like Americans do.”
OD consultants need humility ….because the world is full of Soms, and Miyazakis and Allons and Pierres and Hans, who find the expedience and sterility or the over directness and face-losing communication of the US hard to stomach.