Vani’s Musings

Soft Skills — Too hard to digest?

Posted on: September 22, 2007

No, I am not speaking of the gifts we exchange during weddings and other events. I want to focus on the importance of communication skills, which play a vital role in interactive forums like trainings, conferences, lectures and their ilk.

 Most of us in our professional life would have come across trainings at least once. I am witness now to one such training program which makes me laugh and cry because of the very poor communication skills of our trainer. 

 We have grown to believe that a teacher is like God, but unfortunately, many teachers, or people in associated industry have really underdeveloped communication skills. They would be masters in their chosen field, but because they cannot communicate well, lose out on reaching their audiences.

 My trainer himself, is equipped with nearly half a dozen degrees, but is extremely bad at speaking grammatically correct English. And he claims to train employees at reputed organizations. I am sure there would be hundreds of nit pickers like me who would concentrate more on his faults and miss out on the vital aspects of what he would want us to understand. Why do this? And it is pretty important to lose your native accent. Why give a clue of which part of the country you belong to by way of speaking English as though you were speaking your native tongue?  Why don’t people give the language the respect it deserves by using it a little more sensitively? 

In the global scenario, it is very important for a person to be as much comfortable with soft skills, as their technical expertise. We cannot present ourselves as a nation that is only technically good but very poor in communication. And I don’t think it is such an uphill task either. After all, English is the language we use to communicate with most part of the world. 

 I feel very guilty that I only find fault, but that’s what catches my attention. And by way of good communication skills, I don’t suggest the use of heavy complicated words in our day to day conversation either. All I feel is they must try to be grammatically correct and ensure that at their age, they must not make silly spelling errors, because their word would be taken very seriously and people would use the same spellings and same language in future when they would be asked to, And then, if there were to be someone pointing out this error, it would reflect very poorly on the trainer. 

My point is this. If you are or want to be a faculty or trainer or just about anyone who is part of an interactive forum, please, please brush up your communication skills and if need be, attend a couple of English speaking classes to hone your talent. It would be of great help in making your audience understand what you want to convey, in a much better manner. 

 It is very similar to serving good food in an unclean vessel. However tasty the food may be, our eyes would warn us not to eat it. Even the simplest dish is made tasty by presenting it in a good manner. 

 How many of you share my feeling or think otherwise? A penny for your thoughts.  

Advertisements

14 Responses to "Soft Skills — Too hard to digest?"

eegina kaaladalli presentation is evrything.
junk food well served is lapped upand appreciated.
Sit back in your trainee chair as comfortably as the old creaky chair permits.Enjoy the training. Chew the grains and throw away the husk.

🙂

For a person in his 50s ,his knowledge and experience are his trump cards. It may not even occur to him to go in for any upgradation of s skills.This is specially so in a governmental organisation.
I am NOT saying that one shouldn’t keep oneself abreast of latest skills.

Do your prom. exams well ,skim up the success ladder and become a hip hop trainer soooon.
Good luck,sis.

Oh… So we need to careful while leaving the comments! for any grammer/spelling mistakes 🙂

While now I see the other way too, some just posses good communication skills and throw away all junk even they know very less about the subject.. This is no good in a way isn’t it ? As you say, anything that is well presented gets accepted very fast!!

Good Luck for your exams and have a great time during training..

and Fault finding!! 🙂 :-),what do I say about this Vani ?

I agree on your views enjoy the training and suggested by neel3 take good and thrwo away rotten.
so fast exams for promotion wish you all the best and then u r excused for not regularly posting till that time
have a nice time enjoy and prepare well
I am sure u r coming out with flying colours
may god bestow their blessings
shubhavagali vani nimage

Hi Veena,

While the latter part of your post pertains only to the trainers/teachers, the firt part gave me the impression that you were speaking in geenral.

“Why give a clue of which part of the country you belong to by way of speaking English as though you were speaking your native tongue?”….Not everyone has access to convent education to brush up their accent. I understand that grammatical errors are very annoying, but it is unfair to expect everyone to speak with a neutral accent. I guess accent could be ignored as long as someone is able to communicate what needs to be communicated. I’m sure, given a chance, many people would want to speak in either British or American accent, but the way each one learnt the language influences a lot. I personally think that it is not too hard to be tolerant of the different accents in which our Country folks speak English.

Also, I think the comaprison to food being served from an unclean utensil does not make sense.

Hi Anon,

I am not sure if you are talking with Veena or me in context. Anyway, I will clarify.

I want to aim at both, the general part, as well as specifically choose trainers/ teachers because they play an important part in shaping people’s career and future.

I am not at all saying one must speak with a fake accent, oh no, that is definitely not excusable , unless and until one is working for a BPO or similar such organisation, where it is part and parcel of their job. And, even there, the accent training is taken very seriously so one sounds as natural as a native speaker.

What I say is try to be neutral. And, I think after the British and Americans, we Indians are the best English speakers in the world. Why otherwise do you think we would be flooded with so many BPO’s?

And it does not require convent education, as you put it. That’s a very generalising and biased statement. It is just a matter of taking interest in what you do. And an accent could only be excused if a person is from a rural area with not much exposure to English.

And I am sure that if one wanted to, he or she could enhance their speaking skills by just listening to one of the myriad English news channels on TV. Why speak of Private Channels, We all learnt basic English speaking listening to the English news on Good old Doordarshan. So it is not tough, but just a matter of whether one wants to do it or not. I think it is a very vital component of personality development.

And do you remember how Swami Vivekananda began his conversation in the World Conference of Relegions in Chicago more than a hundred years ago? He started off saying “Brothers and Sisters of America….” not many actually remember the gist of his speech, but what stands out is the way he put it across. Doesnt it stand out as proof of the importance people give to presentating their skills? If it was practised by someone of his calibre more than 100 years ago, dont you think there issomething important for all of us to learn from that?

The analogy of food in an unclean vessel is also trying to convey the same idea. Now, if you feel it is not necessary to have good presentation and soft skills, I wouldnt want to argue.

hi vani,

You are right in your own way,however i beg to differ.I am an english teacher,but am not supporting the language,just because i teach it.

unfortunately or fortunately english is the worlds language now,and with the advent of so many MNC’S ,we probably need the majority of our professionals to not only speak the language but also to THINK in it.unfortunately,the field of training,lacks good and commited people,add to that the fact that our education systems fails to equip us with basic communications skills,which are actually a must. (polish us).

it’s a pity.
I know it can be exasperating to sit thro a class,where one doesn’t expect to learn much,but if not everything then something……

nevertheless liked what you wrote !!!

hi,
I liked your musings on soft skills especially on communication. Like you , I am also the one who can not help finding fault (I mean mistakes). It is world conference on Religions not Relegions which Swamy Vivekananda attended in Chicago. See, slips always occur for anybody anytime. So the moral of the story is take the good and throw the waste. Yet I agree with your view that anyone , especially teachers and trainers should always take extra effort to avoid mistakes be it grammar or spelling. Infact I have used the dictionary twice while writing this reply to you.

Hi Vani,

1st i would like to have your formal introduction. i mean your qualification, designation & age.

Soryy, i forgot to introduce my self, I Thejesh kumar M.B (24)working as an ENgineer CAD in an organization (Bangalore).

I agree with you as i am facing the same problem, i have poor vocabulary. can you please suggest me how can i improve my vocabulary & my english.

I always try to speak grammatically with in the set of words i am having.

I am failing to do so as we have to use particular world at the right place to complete the sentence.

I studied in a rural up to +2 there our lecturers used to teach us in kannada only, i didn’t get the environment to speak english. some how i managed to pass B.E (66%) & get a job in my domain.

But i really want to improve my english. please advise me,

Any classes, tips, any thing,

i am ready for all,

I shall be looking forword to your replay.

FYI
my contact details
Mail= tejesh_mechkss@yahoo.co.in
Phoe = 9448616195

Hi Thejesh,
I’m a Communication Skills Trainer at a Fortune 300 company. After reading your email, I would really like to help you as this is a situation most people with exceptionally good technical skills feel. Being a trainer myself for sometime now, I could gather some areas of improvement for your written and verbal communication.
First of all, kindly discontinue writing and speaking everything in Present Continuous Tense. This is an Indianism that most of us use. For example,

I always try to speak grammatically with in the set of words i am having.

I am failing to do so as we have to use particular world at the right place to complete the sentence.

Also, to improve your vocabulary and pronunciation refer this website as this will really help you to work on pronunciation: http://www.m-w.com. Moreover, chose 10 words everyday (words used in everyday life) and construct sentences, small paragraphs. Now, read the constructed sentences and paragraphs loudly and if possible, record and listen to them. This exercise will give you an added advantage as this will help you in not just enriching and remembering different words everyday but also, help you in improving your pronunciation and verbal skills.

You may also pick up a word/thing/event etc. everyday and start speaking on it by standing in front of the mirror. This will act as a magic trick making you more confident.

Try this for a week sincerely and tell me the difference.

Hope this will help!!

Happy Learning!!!!

Nidhi Gosain

Hi Nidhi,

Thanks for visiting White Phosphorous….

Those tips definitely help! I’m glad you took some time off to guide Thejesh…I’m sure that lots of other readers would also be taking notes…. 🙂

Hi Nidhi,

I would like to thank for your kind advice.

I think i can use simple present tense there – like

I always try to speak grammatically with in the set of words i have.

I fail to do so as we have to use particular world at the right place to complete the sentence.

is it,

I will definitely try to follow your advice, more over can you refer (suggest) any particular institute or class where can i get the similar type of training that you people are giving.

i can spare 3-4 hours of my Saturday.

Kindly advice,

Looking forward to your reply.

Thejesh kumar M.B

Hi Thejesh,
I’m glad the you found my tips useful. However, I’m based in Delhi and not very familiar with institutes in S. India.
Wish I could help you!!!

Note the feedback for this paragraph,
I will definitely try to follow your advice, more over can you refer (suggest) any particular institute or class where can i get the similar type of training that you people are giving.

I will definitely try to follow your advice, moreover, can you refer a particular institute or class where I can undergo similar training. – This is the correct way to write this sentence.

Cheers!!!

Nidhi Gosain

Hi Vani,
I would love to help people like Thejesh who sincerely want to achieve big in life. Really flattered by his determination to learn ……

Thanks for this platform!!!!

Cheers!!!

Nidhi Gosain

Hi Nidhi,

Thanks for your reply.

I hope i would get help from you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: