COMMUNICATION: AN ACTUAL NEED OR JUST OVERRATED?
How great leaders use communication skills?
Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, etc all great leaders have always connected with the masses through their powerful speeches. They have moved the citizens to bring in a revolution. Strong communication skills are often seen as a tool through which they can make the masses do anything according to their will. Something what the politicians always practice.
It is logic against emotion, or emotion with logic clubbed with strong non-verbal communication that leaves a lasting impact on the crowd. Hence how you communicate is very important. It makes or breaks situations.
It`s not just for politicians, it plays a very important role in our lives too. While moving up the corporate ladder, soft skills become more and more important. Executives at decision making roles need to communicate effectively to their subordinates about the importance and the justness of their decisions. This has been effectively captured in the change management model given by Kurt Lewin. The three stages of change management, i.e. unfreeze, change and refreeze is purely driven by effective communication. In order to implement a change, the employees first need to understand the need for change, then they need to adapt to the new model of working and finally they need to be convinced to stick to the new model and not fall back to the old methodology.
Communication in our lives:
We buy products based on the way the brand connects with us. Marketers understand this, and hence they design the campaign accordingly. Because how the brand communicates, what it communicates, determines the top line of the company.
Even at the workplace, you encounter a lot of people. They can be your superiors, subordinates, clients, customers or even your colleagues. Hence in these circles, the way you communicate, the words you use, play a very crucial role.
Let`s look at the various types of communication one needs to take care of:
- Verbal communication: right from the time you give your first interview for a job at an entry level until you are giving a farewell speech, verbal communication is very important. Recruiters want candidates who can handle any situation. Hence they are moving more and more towards stress interviews. It is in these times, one begins to stammer. Hence a studious student can be rejected while someone who`s just maintaining a hygienic score might be selected.But verbal communication is important not just for cracking job interviews but also in everyday activities. Working in teams, video conferencing, people in the sales role, or in the front desk facing customers, presenting reports, convincing clients, etc all of these activities require communication which leaves no ambiguity and portrays clarity.
- Nonverbal communication: it is said that on an average, it takes only 10 seconds for a recruiter to judge you. How? By the way, you carry yourself into the room and take the chair. It`s not limited just to body language, the way you dress up also matters. They can judge you and form an opinion about you even before you utter your first word. Greetings, handshakes, dining habits with the clients, the accessories, even the colors you choose to wear are enough to form an opinion about you. Recruiters have rejected candidates for not wearing ties (where it was absolutely necessary), not trimming the beard (they do not prefer one to have facial hair during interviews and if a male candidate does, in fact, wants to keep, it should be groomed neatly), long nails, body odour, mismatched shoes, the way you sit in a group discussion, your eye contact etc everything matters. Making an impact through non-verbal communication takes a lot of practice. But when clubbed with technical skills, it helps you in the long run.
- Written communication: written records are perfect tools for whataboutery. Hence written communication is the trickiest amongst all forms of communication. Celebrities have often found themselves as the victims in this. Since social media can reach to a large population, the impact what celebs post online is also unclear. If you have ever taken MICAT, you will be able to easily relate to the importance of writing skills. Many colleges ask for a statement of purpose or commonly known as ‘sop’. The pool of candidates available to them is more or less the same. Hence in these situations, the ‘sop’ becomes the determining factor. Businesses depend heavily on rfps. New candidates adjust to the work culture by following the rules from the rule book which many companies take the pain of publishing. The whole of the content marketing strategy depends on how well the marketer can communicate. The list goes on.
- Visual communication: if you see a brown wallet having written ‘LV’ all over it, you know its Louis Vuitton. If you see diamonds in a blue box, you know its Tiffany. That’s how brands communicate visually. It is also the age of infographics. How much time do you spend on social media? Of it, do compare how much time you actually spend on reading a post versus time spent on seeing videos and memes. Instagram and Pinterest have built their business models around this since colors tend to communicate better than black letters. Facebook too is focussing more on visual communication. This really requires determining and understanding what exactly do you want your listener to remember and then formulating the message accordingly.
Verbal for placements
Hello, myself “xyz”, from Kolkata. I am an “abc” engineer from “pqr” college. I am good in C, C#, Java, Dotnet, Php, and many other languages.
Very good afternoon. This is xyz. France is the city of love and Kolkata is the city of passion and I come from the city of passion. And I have found this passion for coding. The languages apart from Bengali, in which I can express my ideas freely include C, C#, C++, Java, and DotNet too. Initially, I found HTML confusing, but now that I know the structure, I am trying to code in that too since it gives styling options. I have always been an avid reader, and I had read word power too, because of which I could go on blabbering!
Ps: neglect the last sentence.
Who do you think stands a better chance at grabbing the attention of the recruiter?
When we talk about any language, it is not just a powerful vocabulary or the sentence structure that strikes the right chord with the listener. It is the combination of these two in the right proportion. And when you want to leave no ambiguity in what you want to communicate, it is the combination of all four types of communication- verbal, non-verbal, written and visual. Hence recruiters test all four types at every level of the placement process. You find the verbal section in the first round of the aptitude test testing vocabulary, grammar, comprehension skills, logical reasoning even in language. The interview tests majorly test non-verbal skills along with technical skills. They require a mouldable candidate and not just a mold.
Why is verbal included in placements?
Try to reminisce your college placements. There will definitely be a case wherein a studious person was rejected and the one who`s backlogs were yet to be cleared, accepted. The recruiters ought to be crazy right? Not really!
Businesses are going global. They are not just focussing on vertical integration, but also horizontal integration and diversification. Hence the client can be from any part of the world. This calls for an urgent need for professionals having excellent soft skills. They do look for technical skills. But more than technical skills it is the ability to learn and implement the dynamic changes in the market place. Hence recruiters are emphasizing on getting candidates with excellent communication skills. There can be a report of hundreds of pages and you need to present it the next morning to say about five minutes. How well you can prepare an executive summary and deliver in those five minutes determines the future of your association with the project.
Experts believe that if your business plan can`t be explained in five minutes and on one page, you will never find an investor in the silicon valley. Thus more than the ideology, the success of your business plan depends on the extent to which you can control your narrative. If you still doubt this, try analyzing the news cycles then you`ll really admire the work which PR agencies do!
Language proficiency tests:
Courses abroad are offered in various languages like German, French, Chinese, etc amongst many others. Locals find it easy but for foreigners, it is not. Because students can`t know all the languages, they are tested on English- spoken, written, hearing, etc and then if they qualify they are enrolled in English courses which run parallel in these colleges. Exams like ILETS, Toefl, etc all require excellent command on the language.
Verbal with Braingroom:
The online class covers all the important topics needed for placements and also for the language proficiency tests.