Sometimes known as “people skills”, Soft Skills are personal attributes that enhance an individual’s interaction with others, job performance and career prospects. Unlike hard skills or technical or occupational skills which tend to be specific to a certain type or task or activity, soft skills are broadly applicable. There are two broad classifications of soft skills – viz., personal attributes and interpersonal attributes.
Soft skills classified under personal attributes comprise of the following:
- Emotional Intelligence
- A Sense of Humour
- Time Management
Soft skills classified under interpersonal abilities are as follows:
- Good Manners & Etiquette
- The Ability to Teach
- Problem Solving
In context to PGDM students, it is often said that hard skills will get a student an interview but one needs soft skills to get and keep going with the job. In the initial years of one’s career, individuals need technical abilities or occupational skills which may be important to get an assignment one seeks. However, when it comes to growing in an organization, it is the personality trait that will matter the most. And this would apply more aptly in an office setting where several people with similar technical expertise will compete for a position or a promotion.
It may be pointed out here that training of soft skills in our country becomes all the more relevant where the education system does not always delve into coordinated personality development. There is a lot of contradiction and argument in the industry as to whether it is possible to enhance soft skills through different modes of training and workshops especially when we already know that the person has lived with those traits all their lives. The answer to this question seems harsh albeit real. A student who wants to do well in his career and does not really have a choice – for him, a reorientation of lifestyle and personal priorities becomes quite essential.
The concept of soft skill is not a recent one; in fact, it is a concept discussed since ancient times. Our Vedas and Upanishads elucidates how Vedantic prescriptions can be an effective instrument for the personal transformation that automatically enhances soft skills necessary for growth.
A resolute desire in a young professional to create a strong positive impression about the self in intellectual and social circles is paramount. Soft skills for management students should come with the intention of an all-round development of their personality and should not only focus on academics but train them professionally also. Inculcation of soft skills among students would ensure greater success for them across all the spheres of life. Today’s organizations and companies generally look for individuals who are flexible to adapt to the organization’s culture and are apt enough to establish meaningful interactions with people around.
Relevance of soft skills among PGDM students:
For creating a healthy and productive work environment: Developing interpersonal skills like listening and writing that can ensure the flow of smooth and accurate instructions and information. This can guarantee a cooperative work environment with minimum levels of manageable conflicts.
Efficiency in dealing with challenges: Hard skills helps one with technical knowledge and skill building whereas soft skills as they include communication skills, etiquette and leadership skills make their adjustment better at the workplace. They make an individual capable enough to deal with challenges and problems at the workplace.
For overall personality development: All-round personality development can only be guaranteed if both the hard and soft skills go hand-in-hand. Thus, as mentioned earlier, hard skills are not enough to bring the best in you and ensure success. Pairing technical expertise with the process involved in the implementation of the technical expertise would lead to the overall personality building and growth of the students.
Demand of today’s time: In today’s time, the strength of an individual is assessed on both the hard and soft skill parameters. The one who lacks soft skills would not be able to compete with the demands of today’s time. Thus, there has to be a strong focus of the course curriculum on building and strengthening of personality by inculcating soft skills.
Thus we see that all-round personality development of PGDM students should emphasize on the mastering of soft skills. At Asian Business School (ABS), there is a lot of stress on developing soft skills as a part of the core course structure. There are diverse facilities initiated by the college to delve upon such skills. In fact, the school flaunts a dedicated Centre of Skill Development (CSD) to ensure that their students are able to hone-up their skill sets to match the growing expectations of the business world.
Besides, Asian Business School also has a dedicated Corporate Resource Centre (CRC) that gives utmost importance to assist its students in getting suitable placements after the successful completion of their studies. CRC ensures that every student gets the right skill & domain knowledge so that they are easily acceptable to the industry. The department organizes activities and workshops that enable students to be effective team leaders as well as team players. This department is operated with twin-fold focus, i.e. augmenting internal competencies by fostering contemporary grooming of students and by enabling industry to identify and absorb intellectuals with requisite technical & managerial skills.
The only objective of ABS has been creating knowledge, influencing management practices and global integration. Every ABS student is provided with a highly professional environment of learning from the very first day. The institute places special emphasis on inculcating corporate values and skills required for complex decision-making, besides developing superior expertise on functional domains and garnering business knowledge. The CRC plays a very important role throughout by conducting industry expert talk, skill development workshops, industrial projects, operational workouts and training. The institute has also developed a pool of highly experienced and qualified industry and academic professionals who regularly guide us in improving the teaching methodology, course content development as per industry requirement to ensure updated and required academic delivery. At ABS we nurture inquisitive, enterprising and curious outlook of students.