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The importance of teaching soft skills as part of the MBA

11th Jun, 2010

The Importance of teaching soft skills as part of the MBA by Ms.Richa Ogra Dhar

To be successful in today’s world it is important to be well equipped with the Soft Skills along with the Hard Skills. Well, we all are aware of hard skills- the technical skills required to do any task or perform any role. This is what the technical degrees of today train us for. In PGDM and MBA courses like MBA in International Business we study Finance, marketing, International Business strategies etc .Engineers are trained to deal with machines .Similarly every professional course trains us for something or other.

While busy learning all the technical skills we forget a very important training needed for an individual’s survival and growth in any industry. This includes areas like leadership skills, team management, interpersonal skills and effective communication skills. For ages we have had an higher education system where we train our youth to handle machines or issues or numbers. But they are never taught to deal with the most important component of any industry i.e., people.

Soft Skills ,popularly known as people skills include techniques and methods of developing effective interpersonal skills .With globalisation and clients and employees working form different parts of the world interpersonal skills , well groomed personality , negotiation skills effective time management has become an essential part of the employee selection procedure for any MNC .

Although soft skills are important for people in any profession, they are of utmost importance for the managers. Be it marketing, human resource or banking, in all the possible areas of management good people skills are essential for a manager to succeed and work effectively. As a result most of the top MBA institutes have now added soft skills as a special course in their MBA and PGDM courses.

Soft Skills is also known as personality development course in many MBA colleges. It aims at developing the key skills such as-

English Communication Skills Personality grooming- Dressing etiquette, Office etiquettes Effective use of the body language Negotiation skills Presentation Skills Interview skills Group discussion Time management Stress management etc.

With globalisation, the geographical boundaries have disappeared. Now the project teams in most of the companies comprise of experts from all over the world. With technological advancements people can have meetings and discussion via Video Conferences, chat or emails etc. Therefore, Cross –Cultural understanding has come up as a new skill that the companies look for in the prospective employees. This becomes all the more important for the students studying Post Graduate Diploma in International Business.

Companies, nowadays look for people skilled in all the above mentioned areas. It is neither wise nor possible for anyone to overlook these skills. It is important to have good hard or technical skills, but in order to achieve your maximum potential and to get noticed it is equally important to have effective communication and soft skills. How effectively can manager achieve his targets is important in business, but in today’s corporate world how effective is he in managing people is of equal importance to the companies.

Ms.Richa Ogra Dhar has 5 years of teaching experience, including 2 years of international experience. She has worked with Osaka City Board of Education, Japan as an English language Trainer. She has also taught effective communication skills in various professional colleges. She is an avid public speaker and has been an active member of Toastmasters International. She has attended various national and international seminars and trainings in the field of ELT .She has presented papers in the field of Cross-Cultural Communication and Business Communication in many international conferences .She has also organised workshops and conferences on public speaking skills and effective use of body language. Her areas of interest are English literature, language and public speaking. She is currently working as a Lecturer of Soft Skills at Asia- Pacific Institute of Management ,Jasola ,New Delhi

Iridium provide a range of soft skills programmes see www.iridiumconsulting.co.uk and are experienced in working with MBA students.