As I’ve been settling into my new life here in Korea, I’ve been struck by how little I need to use precise language to communicate.
Albert Einstein is reputed to have said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” This past week, my ability to explain things simply has been tested!
While my everyday Korean skills are coming back quickly, I’ve had to visit a couple of financial institutions to reinstate accounts from when I was here ten years ago. This has required a more complex level of Korean language, a higher level than I am currently able to use.
In each interaction, we found ways to communicate, whether it was using simplified language to explain complex situations, using a combination of Korean and English vocabulary, or even writing down what needed to be communicated. (I’ve only had to resort to using my Google Translate app once!)
In the end, I found that our determination to communicate with each other made that communication possible.
George Bernard Shaw said, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
How determined are you to truly communicate with the people around you? It seems that we take it for granted that communication is happening when we all speak the same language, but I find that’s when most misunderstandings arise.
I challenge you this week to put more effort into truly understanding those you communicate with regularly and see what it does to improve your relationships!