Communications Over Seas
Along with the problem of just getting your self and equipment to a distant
location, the communication problem can be most frustrating. Probably the best
advice is to think very carefully before you ask for anything or make a point.
Ask your self "What will they HEAR from what I say."
You shouldn't expect to find or be provided with everything that you hoped for.
Deciding how much to compromise is more in line with reality. Look for substitutes
more in line with local condition that can fulfill your needs. Rarely will you
find things that are the same as you are used to using at home. The names for
things will be different and sometimes standard American equipment is absolutely
unknown. Going in with a "make do" attitude will help. Only push hard for the
things you absolutely need. Don't waste your efforts on things not necessary.
Being able to compromise or make substitutions will make you seem reasonable
to them and ease getting things that may be extra trouble for them. Demanding
too much puts you in a position of being the spoiled American who demands everything
wherever he goes.
Interest and sympathy with local tradition, politics and affairs shows that
you are not just interested in the things that you have to do. Unfortunately
we have not been making friends around the world lately and a bit of humble
on your part may go over better than a high handed attitude.
Always be humble when misunderstandings happen. "I'm sorry I didn't explain
it correctly."" Forgive us for making you so crazy with changes, we are having
problems with the people that we are working for." "Considering the short time
left, could you possibly find a XXXXXX."
If you go in with a high handed approach, be prepared to pay and take time getting
what you demand. Clearances take time. Clearing customs takes time. Doing things
without clearances is often possible if you convince them that you are reasonable
and won't get them into trouble and burn their bridges locally. They have to
work in that town long after you are just a memory.
Interpreters can be a problem when they try to color things with what they think
that each side wants to hear. If you are not hearing the right questions back,
then you may not be communicating all that well. It is often best to make one
point at a time. Then go on if you are convinced that it is understood. There
is a big difference in interpreters that have dealt with tourists and those
with the film business. Tourists accept almost any answer. Showing pictures
of what you are trying to accomplish helps immensely.
© Copyright 1999-2004 Ron Dexter. All Rights Reserved.