The Culture of Incomplete Communication
Monday 4 December 2017
Article by B. William Pezzimenti
My experience in over 40 years of media began in the US and later cultivated globally. I’ve helped build and develop media companies in Australia, Brazil and now the US. In particular, training a media sales team in Brazil, which I continue to do, taught me the relevance of language, and communication.
I currently work in the US and live in Australia, the similarities are obvious, but the real challenge is understanding the differences. I’ve also worked in many countries and there is one thing that I believe that holds us together is genuineness in business and in your personal life. It’s global.
We live in a culture of disposable everything from relationships to training tools, to pop up business concepts and beyond- unless we’re brave enough to communicate what’s inside us.
Our society is a landscape of outlaw men and women who are trapped in the invention of used ideas- a narcissistic outgrowth of stunted information.
The many professionals are showing the world how curious and interesting they and we are by globetrotting LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter with their excitable eyes, insidious finger pointing and growing connections.
We consume our lives with pretend communication from a psychedelic hangover left to the millennials from baby boomers. And now the millennials are copulating the adult role models in a bizarre twist whose only aim is to be noticed, adored or feared. They morphed into angry insect bicyclists shouting holier than thou invectives at a SUV carrying tired commuters. What exactly are they communicating? All I hear is noise and a superiority of politics attached to a colour.
We’re using our brain and influence to promote anger and intolerance. We seek support from popular TED personalities and counterfeit TV nerds. It’s all there for us to consume like a Big Mac.
There must be so much more to us than the electricity connecting our hungry lust to the poster friends and job networking.
To me, communication is mostly about listening, not necessarily doing; nor creating an image that others will like or share.
On the internet we are like a gorilla chasing a butterfly for sport.
I like to believe we are much bigger than the headlines that destroy empathy or our strange pursuit for nothing that can be touched or felt.
Every day we watch, listen and read the news for enlightenment, truth and leaders of genuine character. Everyday we’re disappointed.
There is no correlation between communication and the headlines we suffer by thinking this is reality. Mostly we are driven by what we believe people want or expect from us; whether it’s a job, a lover or simply the way we dress.
Men with beards like Ned Kelly, women with colourful tattoos like a comic book, well, it’s all so incredibly conservative and all it communicates is the need to be accepted. To belong somewhere in the middle of a search for something.
These days to be hip is to be ordinary. As the brilliant singer songwriter Richard Thomas hilariously pointed out “She’s got everything a girl might need, she’s a tribal animal yes indeed, but she hasn’t got a bone through her nose”. Perhaps she does.
I believe it takes courage to communicate, to think, and to act. In-between we are all muddling in a softly lit room, slightly pornographic, of desires and incompleteness, hoping to attract other incomplete vulnerable persons.
We do have the power and ability to communicate. Have you noticed how it happens naturally when we listen to the music we love? It touches us deeply without us questioning how or why. It is penetrating and enveloping, this language of sound and soul.
It can be quiet or loud, nostalgic or avant-garde, melodic or rapped. It’s a much freer and honest form of expression that is simple, complexed and spiritual.
It is intimate of course. But it’s the one of the few intimate forms of communication that we can share to the public without getting examined or for approval.
Again, communication works better on a spontaneous and spiritual level than on the pseudointellectual level of parroting headlines or armed engagement on Twitter.
I am not against social media, but it seems to have replaced honest communication. It is the progenitor of incomplete communication. It is unfortunately where many people get their information. It appeals to the lazy and crude. It offers a quick sugar fix. It kills thinking and individualistic ideas.
It is a gunslinger without bullets or purpose. It is communication genocide.
Does it matter that all you may know are unremarkable stories barking on cue with those who hold similar beliefs of ignorance, of fear? And that it’s probably not true if your friends or neighbours agree- it’s the babble of the masses and the disease of incompleteness.
Social media has created a world of fear and ruthless leaders, hateful rhetoric from their narcissistic mirror. There is so much that is censored, uncommunicated like an imprisoned monk who stares at a wall or a businessman folding like a dollar.
Our deceit is whether we genuinely communicate. It is madness that we’ve accepted this new delivery method of communication that has now become the foundation of our humanness, the core of our beliefs that is supporting our lives, our bias and falseness.
The mask isn’t the horror. It’s what’s behind the mask. It is a communication design that is carefully manufacturing a franchise of human behaviour on a long assembly line of easy movable and removable parts; fitted only for the moment, packaged and sold to us through interactions we now clumsily call communication.
To enact real change and to show true leadership in business, we must learn courage. The courage to be who we really are. To say what we mean. To be decisive and not be influenced by a chorus of lost voices who will only want you to conform.
The first communication is the offering of personal strength and agility. It is believing that you can make a difference instead of becoming invisible like one of the many.
There are times you’ll have to take risks to succeed. To be heard, respected may not initially get the likes or the comfort of blending in you expect, yet I believe you’ll be far more effective in your business and personal life.
When I first started working in Brazil, it wasn’t about understanding Portuguese but more importantly in how the Brazilians think, their beliefs and customs. As an Australian born raised in America and returning to Australia working in media I saw the subtle and not so subtle differences and likeness in behaviour and attitudes. Similar subtle differences and likeness in Brazil, India, the UK with boundaries that are each unique.
I learned language was secondary to comprehension, to respect and to listening. The incomplete communication is carried by an abundance of buzzwords to provide confidence, confusion and tribal acceptance. LinkedIn is my proof.
The simplicity of communication starts with a smile, a face to face encounter, not by a text or some coded language. We still work with people. The short cuts of email and other technologies can be a barrier to real communication. It is a hiding place for those who don’t have time or interest.
B. William Pezzimenti is International Director of Sales Strategy at Global Traffic Network. This article was brought to you by AmCham's NEXT: Network for Future Leaders Committee in NSW.
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