In September of 1996, in the final year of my engineering, I took stock of my overall academic grades and the picture wasn’t pretty. The placement season was about to start and I discovered that I was in the bottom quartile of my class.
I had mentally prepared myself to face the reality, which was to await my turn as companies came one-by-one and picked people up based on their overall academic grades. But on the third day, due to a stroke of luck, I landed an interview with Wipro, which was considered a top recruiter at that time. As I look back now, I am convinced that I got the job at Wipro, despite my poor academic grades, because I was able to communicate effectively in that interview.
Every year, GMAC survey lists oral and written communication as one of the top skills that recruiters want in graduating students. This doesn’t surprise me at all. An organization is a group of individuals with a common goal. The ability to communicate effectively plays an important role in achieving the goal. Functional skills are important but only up to a certain distance in one’s career. After that, it is leadership and communication skills that sets one apart from the others.
Sadly, this subject does not get much focus in the Indian education system. An important reason for this is that most colleges do not have a proper department for communication. Even if they do, the focus is given to English language instead of the broader aspects of communication. There is a serious dearth of good teachers and relevant content on this subject for the business context. And this is where we want to do our bit and help our learners worldwide. Both of us have worked in the corporate sector and have been teaching courses on communication at IIM Bangalore for many years. We both understand the needs of the corporate sector and the importance of academic grounding for learning. So we combined all of these into a simple course which can help our learners get a jump-start on this topic so that they can write, present with confidence and do basic interactions in a business context more effectively.
Speaking to a class full of students is easy because we have been doing this for years. But speaking in front of a video camera, not knowing who is out there watching us, was daunting. This course taught us to drink our own medicine and learn to communicate to the audiences of the new world – you. Please help us in making this course better as we go along. Tell us if we are able to help you in your journey and share your stories with us.
See you in the Matrix!
Enrol in the Effective Business Communication course here.
[This post was written by Rakesh Godhwani, Adjunct Faculty of Communication, IIM Bangalore]