Posted On June 14,2019
This is a topic that is very close to me and this blog will provide you an insight on my journey – where I started and how good communication can shape you as a person.
“An introvert’s view”, there is a reason why these words are in the title. That’s who I am, but put me in front of a decent gathering of senior executives at work, something switches inside me – I love the limelight, the centre stage, the microphone. Any presentation goes flawless and deep down I say to myself, “Did I just do that?”
Was I always like this? No way! In any social gathering, I wouldn’t blame you, if you think of me as a doppelganger. So, how is this transition from an extreme introvert to someone who can take centre stage? Let’s go back to the beginning……
My educational background is same as any student going through the trenches of the Indian education system – High schooling was with a focus on science, Bachelors was in Computer Science with specialisation in Software Engineering. Spending most of my college days learning new languages (programming languages to be precise) and playing computer games, I was completely oblivious of the fact that, technical proficiency alone can’t take you too far. You need to be the “complete package” to move up the corporate ladder – the right balance of IQ (Intelligence Quotient), EQ (Emotional Quotient) and Soft Skills.
At times, you need a reality check in life. I got mine when I landed in Melbourne to pursue my Masters. My command over English wasn’t bad, but it’s different when you are in a completely new country – the accent, the slangs and the pronunciation, they take time to fathom. Fast forward 16 years – I am still in Melbourne, completed my Masters, did MBA from one of the best B schools in the country and worked for some of the biggest brands in the world.
What has this got to do with communication? A lot! You can be the best programmer in the world, but if you can’t express your thoughts in a business context, your value decreases exponentially. The world today has changed; you think global but act local. No matter where you are in your academic or professional journey, in order to go up the rungs of the corporate ladder, you need to be an astute communicator. You need to realise, that your role will transcend boundaries and cultures and that good communication is a key ingredient, that will help you navigate this maze. The idea here is to keep things simple. Here are some things that I have tried over the years and they work:
1. Read: I’ll be the first one to admit that I am not a reader. In fact, I am not patient enough to read. But getting your hands on a couple of good English newspapers and spending an hour everyday reading them, helps. Make notes of the words that you don’t understand, find their meaning and try and use those words in sentences when you converse. “The Economic Times” is a newspaper that I have been reading for quite some time now.
2. Watch: Follow an English television series. Even better if you can find something that has a corporate storyline. The series, “Suits”, is a good one to start with. It will teach you a thing or two about business attire as well.
3. Speak: Make it a point to speak in English with your friends or family. This might sound funny at the start, but this is the best way to put what you have learnt from point 1 & 2 above, into practice. Worst case, stand in front of the mirror and talk. I have done it several times and it helps a lot.
As the proverb says, “Practise makes a man perfect.” This will take time and you need to be patient but we are always by your side in this journey.
Reach out to us on email@example.com if you would like to know more on how we go about it.
Author: Ritu Raj Das, Co – Founder, Skill Prodigy