Episode # 34 – Why do today’s organizations focus more on “Communication” and “Soft skills”???

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In the previous episode we had witnessed a very important attribute of a “Panditha” wherein Vidura explained that he is one person who does not get carried away by praises and insults, and deals with things in a balanced fashion. We saw some instances wherein this important attribute with an example from the game of “Cricket” in India and how successive captains handle fans’ reactions after winning or losing a cricket match.

Moving on, we shall today discuss about the next important attribute that Vidura explains to King Dhirdhiraashtra.

“Tathvyagnyaha sarva bhoothaanaam yogagnyaha sarva karmanaam!!”

Here Vidura explains to King Dhirdhiraashtra that a “Panditha” is a person who has the unique capability to grasp things quickly, put a framework to execute tasks and also knows who and what would be able to help him to achieve his goals and mission. Here is another important attribute pertaining to the effective “resource management” of a leader. If we’ve to link this attribute of Vidura to the modern day life, we can say that a successful leader is that person who is shrewd enough to understand things quickly, materializes and marshals his resources in such a way that he is able to achieve his work with minimal cost, time and effort. This is very important for every leader in every profession. In management terms we often talk about the term “Optimal Utilization of our Resources”. The fundamental assumption in management science is that, any resource available in this world, be it man, material or anything, is scarce in nature and it is the manager’s acumen that enables the optimal usage of the resource that is scarcely available.

Now moving on to the next attribute, Vidura explains the following:

“Pravrutha vaak chithra katha uuhavaan prathi bhaavaan aashukgranthasya vakthaacha yasya panditha ucchyathe!!”

 Here, Vidura explains one of the most important attributes – “The Art of Talking” and effective communication. Communication is extremely important because, although a person might be highly skilled in terms of knowledge about one subject, it all depends on how he is able to communicate that knowledge to the outside world, and this ability makes the person a “Panditha”. If a person is unable to communicate the knowledge that he has gained, then that entire knowledge would be of no use to anybody! Hence, proper communication skills are very essential for a person, even in the modern day.

This is why in big corporate companies too in the modern day we stress on something called “soft skills”. It is not enough if we only have the technical knowledge and skills pertaining to our job. It is also very important for us to communicate those technical skills in a proper way so that the others (peers, customers, etc.) are also benefitted.

During our previous Ramayana project itself I’ve spoken extensively about the importance of communication at the context wherein Hanuman meets Lord Rama for the first time. The readers can recall as to how Lord Rama appreciates Hanuman’s speech with the help of 7-8 slokas, wherein he talks about different attributes of communication such as body language, facial expressions, smile, eye-contact, lip movements, speed of speech, correct articulation of words, grammatical perfection, etc. This is exactly what Vidura is also explaining here.

It is for this reason, modern day corporate companies have adopted “Communication tests” as part of their recruitment processes too – Nowadays we are seeing that companies conduct something called “Group Discussions” as part of the selection process, wherein a panel of 7-8 people is formed, a topic is given and the panel is allowed to discuss on that particular topic for 15-20 minutes. Why do companies adopt such a process? It is to check if the candidates are skilled in articulating their thoughts into proper sentences and whether they are able to convince the others with their structured arguments. Moreover, the end-result of a proper and a well-moderated group discussion leads to the emergence of a leader and this leader is whom companies pick up! Apart from this, of course we have a detailed personal interview wherein the candidate is interviewed on a one-to-one basis by an interviewer or by a panel of interviewers together. This is again to check for the candidate’s confidence level and this can be gauged by the way the candidate communicates and articulates his/her thought processes. Such is the significance given to communication skills in the modern day. This is exactly what Lord Rama and Vidura emphasize – A “Panditha” is a person who has mastered the art of effective communication and is able to convey his points of view in a clear and a well-structured manner.

Having discussed the importance of effective communication now comes the question as to how do we focus and improve our effective communication. The first step to improve our communication skills is to reduce and avoid unwanted communication! This directly again means that unwanted and unnecessary gossiping should be avoided. If we keep on talking non-stop and all junk, people would brand us that we are useless chatter-boxes and even at times if we speak something important, people would not listen to us! I’ve mentioned this in our previous episode too. I’m stressing and re-stressing this point again and again because this “unwanted gossiping” about somebody or something has become such a huge menace in the society! If we’ve to calculate how much of time and energy we spend on this, we would be shocked to see that we are wasting more than three-fourth of our time, which can otherwise be used productively in various ways.

So for today, let us think about it and introspect once more as to how much of time and energy do we waste per day on unwanted gossiping? I had already requested you to do this exercise in one of our recent episodes, but it is worth repeating it again! 🙂 There is another detailed episode that is following up tomorrow, which discusses about the attributes of effective communication as explained by Vidura. Lets’ stay tuned! 🙂

Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham in Kerala, India. A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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