on Nov 09, 2006
The most important thing in a managerâ€™s job is effective communication. If you cannot get your point across to your subordinates then your existence as a manager is not worth a dime. The IIM GD process effectively tests you on how good you are at getting your point across without crossing the thing line of being aggressive rather than assertive. Some people lose their nerve and fighting breaks loose in most gds which creates a negative impact and whole groups get scrapped because of that. Even when companies come to hire they look for a person who can skillfully and effectively get himself heard and gets the group to agree on what he has to say. While in an interview if you do not let the interviewer know what qualities you possess how can you expect him to select you. The important ting is you have to drive your point across. I know of an instance where a topper in XLRI did not get placed until the last day of summer placements simply because of communication skills. His marketing , finance and other academics were impeccable but he could communicate. So what did he do? He enrolled in career launcher in jamshedhpur to do something about communication.
There are two types of people who generally donâ€™t speak in a GD. The first is a person who has good communication skills but has no points he can make. The second type of person who has the points but does not have the communication skills to put forward his points. There may be another type, one who has points and has reasonable communication skills but is hesitant to say what he feels because of the lack of confidence. If you are the first type you do not need much help. All you have to do is help yourself by being up to date , reading newspapers, books, current affairs etc. however if you are the second or third type you will really need to put a lot of practice to hone your communication skills and confidence. For starters you could begin by talking in English with your friends or informal groups. It really helps cause it kills your inhibitions because you donâ€™t feel afraid of what the others would think if you faltered. One of the major factors I feel why people who lack communication do not speak up is because of the fear that what will others think of them if they make a mistake. Half the battle is won if you donâ€™t give a damn about others and donâ€™t become conscious of what you speak. You should try and speak with full confidence. Iâ€™ve seen major politions speaking grammatically incorrect sentence but with such perfect poise and confidence that the listeners actually begin to doubt themselves whether he actually committed the mistake or not. The major thing here is confidence. And you are not getting anywhere close to having confidence while speaking if you do not begin by speaking with your friends first and then in informal groups at work or at college. I would advise if you have any friends who are girls then do strike conversations IN ENGLISH with them. Girls are major chatters and specially delhi university girls who could put to shame a parrot if they began (pun intended). I donâ€™t know whether you noticed or not but I for sure have that girls generally communicate better than boys. Another thing that is a must is you should do a lot of reading. Reading does not only add to your tacit knowledge but also helps you improve a lot on English grammatically. I would advise that you read one good English newspaper everyday and try to finish at least one English novel every month and I am not talking Danielle Steele Sydney Sheldon types here but for starters you might try them if that hooks you up. Take out the time even if you are very busy. One hour every night is not asking for too much. If you do not have interests in reading then try to pick a book in a field which interests you. Trust me you will be hooked. The first few pages will be a drag but once you get absorbed in it, it will be like a movie (provided you have chosen fictional writers.)
Few books I would suggest are .
The alchemist by pau lo Coelho.(this is a very basic book beginners with simple English and has an interesting story even though its philosophy.)
Liars Poker-Michael lewis (if you are interested in investment banking)
The world is flat- Thomas Friedman (makes interesting reading. It about how globalization has changed the rules of the game in todays business.)
Flash point- Adams (Fiction- about dalai lamas death, reincarnation and Chinese atrocities on Tibet.)
Thatâ€™s all for now happy reading.