Working abroad has it’s own challenges. The most comment for me is language miscommunication. My english idioms don’t alway translate properly and viceversa. But in the end that’s simple. You ask for clarification, or you simplify your language to better illustrate your point.
But what about when you feel like you’re talking to a wall and the other party isn’t making the effort to understand. Take note of this one approach…
Investigate the Incentive
One time in the Czech Republic a buddy and I were left stranded in a small town. We hadn’t made it to Prague yet, but we had already run out of money. We needed to get some extra cash, but the term “ATM” didn’t translate. We stopped by a bar, and we make it clear we had no cash. We needed to get to an ATM. With our hand gestures and repetitive language, we illustrated the concept by taking out our card, sliding it next to a coaster holder, and pushing a small bill that we did have under. The bartender quickly figured out what we needed.. “Money Machine!” Yes!
The bartender had an incentive, for having paying customers. And we had plenty of time to kill until our next train. So it worked out.
When we are having creative discussions with other individuals, and things just don’t seem to click or there is a great deal of resistance. Don’t get mad at them. Start investigating their incentive. If they don’t see eye to eye with you, ask yourself why? Could it be there is no incentive for them to be part of the project?
Eventually you’ll find that most of the time it’s their ego. People don’t want to be embarrassed or up-staged and sometimes that is the cause of their resistance. Sometimes, their concept is completely different. Think, Catholics vs Evangelicals; Seth vs Jedi.
This kind of adversity you have to face on your own. It’s about not becoming discouraged with the fact that there is someone or a group of people who don’t see your vision. Use an exit strategy that is honest and dignifying. There never had to be bad blood between individuals because they didn’t see things your way. Allow yourself to step out of the situation in a graceful manner.
When I was in film school, there were a lot of personalities. And what I quickly realised what that the industry had a place for everybody. It was upto me to find the right place and choose where I wanted to fit in.
So then the next time you feel that it’s becoming an overwhelming task to get in sync with someone else. Be grateful for their perspective and remind yourself of YOUR vision.
Because if you became swayed by others, we can’t truly say, we’re are our own creative driving force.
If derailed, get back on track, refocus and stay determined.