Couples talk in the language of love, teachers use the language of academia, and artists communicate via the language of art. People even communicate without seeing each other through Social Network Service (SNS). At the same time, however, they say that they have to and want to communicate. The problem is that there are only a few people who know how to do so properly.
Not Became but Has Been
In Korean society, things are chaotic and there is much direct evidence that shows communication is not working well. For example, because some neighbors from an upstairs apartment made noise, those who lived downstairs went up and murdered them. What penetrates such a happening is the clear absence of communication. Indeed, today is the era where communicating how to communicateis needed more than ever. However, it is not surprising at all because, in fact, communication always has been an issue. “It is true that people became interested in the communication nowadays, but communication itself did not appear for the first time, rather, it always has beena matter,” said Kim Chang Ok, communication professional and representative of Human Company.
▲ Communication professional Kim Chang Ok has in-depth understanding ofcommunication. Photographed by Jung Woo Jae.
Now people live in a world where every single part making it up cannot exists by itself. Even though they are so cohesive, seeming as one from the beginning, they are all separate beings which are complexly related. Therefore, to live together, interactions among them are inevitable and communication is the very way of such interactions. As a result, how well the world goes depends on whether the communication does work well or not.
Recently, the communication has not worked well beyond a certain extent and the issue of communication has surfaced. In addition, there are many people who should take the initiative and encourage people to communicate, but they only show scenes of non-communication. As a result, people are disgusted with them; and at the same time, their aspiration for sincere communication becomes even larger.
To Communicate, To Be Healthy
There might be no exact answer for the question “What is sincere communication?” For Kim, communication is being healthy and having a healthyrelationship with others. Being healthy means being externally solid and internally comfortable. Firstly, being internally comfortable means keeping a high self-esteem. It starts with seeing oneself in a positive view, which leads to thinking positively and saying good things to one’s self. When such positive seeing extends to others, he or she is able to have healthy relationships with them. The objects that can be related are various: from nature, religion, to people. By doing this, they become externally solid, healthy and communicative.
Above all, the main principle underlying the entire healthyprocess is to acknowledge one’s existence itself. “Just smiling in front of someone or something can mean acknowledging them,” Kim said. However, today’s people do not recognize such a simple principle and it is the reason why communication does not work well in today’s society. Rather, in today, individual values tend to be determined by social identity such as wealth, intelligence, and status, rather than one’s existence. As a result, the tendency to emphasize too much on the results has formed in Korean society. People acknowledge and appraise others only when they make outperforming results, not knowing that simply smiling for being together has a more significant meaning.
Exclusive aspects of confucianism in Korea hampers smooth communication among Koreans as well. Since the old days, Koreans have been affected by such exclusiveness. Therefore, until now, people tend to remain inside oneself or one’s group, not trying to expand their views. The result of such a tendency is being buried in one’s view and racism, sexual discrimination, and generation gap show how it affects negatively in the society. With such chronic non-communication, there is a need to communicate how to communicate.
▲ Kim is giving lecture about communication at GE Healthcare corporate event.Photographed by Jung Woo Jae.
Appearance of the Better Communicator
A communication professional is the very person who communicates how to communicate. The name ‘communication professional,’ which has appeared quite recently, indicates the person who has more in-depth interest and understanding of communication than others. Therefore, they guide people who are in trouble communicating with others.
“The person who has experienced non-communication in the past communicates well with others,” said Kim. Since communication professionals need to do phenomenological understanding of communication, their own insight through deep understanding of it is essential when they work. By going through a number of non-communications from various relationships, they had many chances to think about the relationship. Furthermore, it led them to consider how to improve the relationship between others, between oneself and others, and with oneself.
▲ Kim established Kim Chang Ok Human Company. Provided by Kim Chang OkHuman Company.
As a result of such considerations for a long time, they become better at communication than others and can help those people who are not good at it with their own insight. Kim established Human Company for this reason—to deliver his message about communication to more people more substantially. The institution conducts two large things. It helps Kim give lectures about communication at universities, churches, youth detention centers, and corporations. It also manages a small academy to help people who have difficulty in smooth communication. Professional voice consultants diagnose individuals’ problems and teach them how to make a speech well through communication speech training.
“Since the expiration date of our society’s communication almost has run out, even little sparks can make destructive power. However, It is hopeful because I believe that there are positive potentials that can offset its destructive power,” said Kim. On the one hand, the fact that people need communication professionals can be circumstantial evidence of non-communication in today’s society. On the other hand, however, it means that there are potential aspirations of people to sincerely communicate with each other. When communication professionals and institutions make efforts constantly to communicate how to communicate, someday the day when people do not need them will come.