Communication Skills & Strategies – Modern Approaches & Tools

communication-skills-strategies-capability-paper

Index

Foreword. 4

About this Document 6

Gap Analysis. 7

Current State. 8

The Current State of Professionals. 8

The Current State of Prevailing Training Entities. 9

Possible Interfering Factors. 10

From the Perspective of Professionals and Individuals. 10

Limitations in the Current Training Programs for B2B sector 11

Limitations in the Current Training Programs for B2C sector 11

Future Desired State. 12

The Future Desired State of Professionals who lack in Communication Skill 12

The Future Desired State of Professionals who lack in Language Skill, Spoken English Skill and Communication Skill 13

Gap Identification. 13

Gap Description. 14

Facts and Figures. 14

Communication Skill Gap in Personal & Professional Level 14

Importance of Communication Skill in Growing India. 16

Foreign Languages Usage in Other Countries, including India. 17

English Language Usage in Other Countries, including India. 18

Gap in English Language Usage in India. 18

Shortfall of Spoken English. 19

Bridging the GAP. 19

Introducing Comprehensive Communication Skill Development & SpeakSure Spoken English Program   21

USP of Comprehensive Communication Skill Development & SpeakSure Spoken English Program   22

Blended Approach for B2B. 22

Unified Approach for B2C.. 22

Salient Features of Execution of Comprehensive Communication Skill Development & SpeakSure Spoken English Program.. 23

Doing it Right at the First Time. 23

State-of-the-Art Approaches. 23

Homogeneous Content 23

Assessment & Monitoring. 23

Practical Applications for Comprehensive Communication Skill Development & SpeakSure Spoken English Program   24

Practical Applications for Businesses. 24

Creativity and Creative Thinking. 24

Negotiation & Convincing Ability Enrichment 24

Brainstorming Strength Development 25

Content Development Capability Enhancement 25

Practical Applications for Individual Professionals. 26

Clarity in Thinking. 26

Mental Bandwidth/Mental Attitude. 26

Creativity and Innovative Thinking Ability. 26

Logical Thinking. 27

Conclusion. 27

About Train to Prosper 28

About Mr. Martin Athanas, Founder, Train to Prosper 29

References. 30

 

Foreword

In this age of information technology and globally connected business world, to excel, one has to cultivate expertise in culturally strong communication that grows to the level of analysis and comes back in terms with the realities one is living in. We are living in an age where self-expression is like breathing. One should be able to capture information, analyse it and use as the situations demand – all at the speed of light. Asking is getting, means only if we ask we get what we want. But one has to ask meaningfully so that he is understood properly and then given what he is asking for. What one requires in asking meaningfully is a matured communication. Matured communication is one that understands its uses and exploits the same. If we look around us we can see matured people (read as successful people) excellently communicating by using matured language. They use language with laser sharp precision to make their side clear and bold. They make statements and sure about what they are speaking and have a clear understanding about the effect of their words in the listener. They are clear in their language and they are successful in their ventures.

Communication is key to achieve stronger decision making & problem solving skills, achieve enhanced productivity for professional level growth and gain influencing ability for personal growth. Such communication skill requires an ability to converse using language appropriately.

What is Language? Is it what we speak? Or is it what we want to speak? What are the uses of language? Is it only used for speaking? Is it used to express our ideas and feelings? What are the applications of language? Can it be used to influence or to command? Can language be used to submit ourselves or to make others submit? Language is a process. It originates in our wants, becomes our thoughts and spreads to our interactions, activities and life. We used to think of language as a tool to speak alone. But in today’s advanced world such a use becomes a premature one.

Where does language originate – in thoughts or in wants? Do some people use it to construct and some others to destruct? What do we do when we `understand’ something or when we try to `convince’ someone? Is language a cultural thing or an intellectual thing? Can language be used to ease situations or to tense it? Can language help us to ‘learn’ technical things’? Is language involved when we cry or laugh? Do we think when we speak, or do we use language to think? Does language control us sometimes or do we control language? Should it be constructed or cultivated?

Is language a hereditary thing? Can a powerful language be developed? How long will it take to evolve with a powerful language? Should one need to do Post Graduate level language courses to master language or can one develop it all by oneself through reading books and communicating with the world?  You speak what you think. Yes, you speak what you think. Or if you don’t think then you can’t speak. Because we use words, symbols, rules and structures to speak and the same things are being used to think also.

“Language is the human faculty that enables us to exchange meaningful messages with the fellow human beings by means of words and texts, structured based on certain rules and conventions”(Jackson & Stockwell, 2011). Such rules and conventions are segregated as different parts under ‘grammar’; as defined, ‘grammar’ is the whole system and structure of a language or of languages in general, usually taken as consisting of syntax and morphology (including inflections) and sometimes also phonology and semantics.

As we are aware, India is known for its strength in linguistic diversity. Moreover, it’s colonial legacy gives a special edge for English and its importance in the lives of Indians. As the globalised work scenario demands, the economic prosperity, especially in today’s scenario, is directly related to the English language spoken skill and our ability to better use of that potential for heightened communication skill. Why is it not necessary to teach a child its mother tongue? Because the child understands its surroundings and analyses the situations using symbols and words which are mainly of his/her mother tongue. He/she learns automatically to speak without anyone teaching the mother tongue. They speak as they think. Same habit we cultivate as we grow. You speak what you think. If you think in Marathi you speak Marathi, if you think in Gujarati you speak Gujarati, if you think in French you speak French.

Beyond evaluation, the empowerment began when the humankind started realizing the potential of English as the universal language, and then they started using it as a symbol of wealth, power and influence. It is in modern days that the significance of English as a tool to empower people has been recognized as the information technology and globalization started ruling the trade and human lives. As Hayes explains in his book ‘A Primer on Communication Studies’, the language, especially English, greatly affects our credibility and people often make assumptions on others based on how they speak and what they say (2006).

To put in simple terms, the fundamental end of human happiness is majorly depending on economic prosperity (English and Empowerment in the Developing World, 2009). Language skill, especially effective interpersonal and professional communication skill based on English language expertise is highly important to achieve such economic prosperity which is one of the most critical attribute to content and happy life.

About this Document

As a primary aim, this document highlights the power of communication skill in a person’s life evolvement and growth. In order to attain professional goals, the individuals must be able to express their thoughts, understand the logic, brain storm ideas, negotiate well to create a win-win situation, influence and convince people by effectively utilizing their communication skill. Creativity is one important aspect that helps one to successfully grow professionally. Creativity can be enhanced only through effective communication ability.

The power of language majorly contributesin the success of people. Especially, English language, the influence of speaking, writing, communicating ability of the professionals and the enhanced English language ability contributes to the success of such individuals at personal level. Be it written or oral communication in English, it is highly important for a professional to understand and comprehend what is being conveyed. Unless he/she has an ability to understand the context and convert the context into content, the gap in such communication can create a serious negative impact in the personal growth.

This document identifies the importance of communication skill in our lives, the gaps that occur in the personal and professional growth of professionals due to (1) Skillgap that occurs in utilizing theEnglish language expertise which is a key tool for effective communication and professional success (2) skill gap in speaking English language with affluence which is a necessary base for personal growth. Moreover, the possible interfering factors backed with facts, figures and statistics are discussed in subsequent sections followed by the future desired state. And, most importantly, the perfect and comprehensive solution to mitigate all the gapsidentified is very welldescribed as a part of this document.

“Language is a process. It originates in our wants and becomes our thoughts and spreads to our interactions, activities and life. We used to think of language as a tool to speak alone. But in today’s advanced world such a use becomes a premature one.

This is the age of information, communication and technology. To excel, one has to cultivate a language culture that has to grow to the level of analysis and come to terms with the realities one is living in. We are living in an age where self-expression is like breathing. One should be able to capture information, analyse it and use as the situations demand – all at the speed of light”.

Martin Athanas, Founder, Train to Prosper

 

 

Gap Analysis

The in-depth assessment through gap analysis led to identifying and defining the gaps between the current comprehensive communications skill &English Speaking ability and the performance level of professionals in India, categorized as below.

  • Effective communication skill is highly significant for expressing thoughts, logical thinking, participating in group discussions while making important decisions, brain storming, negotiating, creatively thinking, influencing others to sellideas. The organizational level communication skill is expected, especiallyin the middle management or intermediate level professionals. To summarise, communication skill is the critical requisite to progressively and harmoniouslycollaborate, survive and succeed in any profession/business.

 

  • To lead a quality personal life in today’s world, it is very important to be able to speak, write, understand and comprehend English Language. English is the dominant business language; we all live a life as a part of one business or another, either as an employee, or a user or a client or a consumer. If we are part of a team running a business, without English speaking ability, conducting a business successfully will be a very big question mark. Assuming oneself as a part of consumer population, to understand about a product or service, we need to have English language understanding ability, so that we can take informed decisions whether to buy the product or not. Underestimation of language skill ability and so the gaps in Spoken English expertise majorly blocks the personal growth of individuals.

The inquisitorial method was used to analyse the current state, possible interfering factors and the future desired state of such professionals and the limitations in the current Training programs in India, subsequently described in sub-topics below. 

Current State

 

The Current State of Professionals

 

In-sufficient Weightage to the Communication Skill – Not giving sufficient importance to their communication skills, such intermediate level professionals do not think about what they want to say, write and communicate to the fellow human beings. Such communication gapsbring in lot of conflicts.

 

Unaware of the Greater Benefits Achievable with Enhanced Communication skill – Communication skill is not only about talking; it comprises of effective listening, reading, writing and speaking skills. Each component brings in lot of benefits; unaware of such benefits, these professionals end up being in a low productive circle impacting their growth.

 

Utilizing English ONLY for Functional Level Communication – “People are persuaded by reason, but moved by emotion; the leader must both persuade and move them up,” says Richard Nixon, 37th President of the United States. Most of these intermediate level professionals use English ONLY for functional level communication; by not using it in a cultural level, they tend to fall victim of lot many conflicts and fiascos.

 

Unaware of Using Communication to Full Potential for Personal and Professional Growth – Most of these professionals think and use communication as a one-way street. Incapability to understand the audience make them poor communicators, tremendously blocking their personal and professional growth.

 

Poor Writing Ability–Most of them do not give any importance to develop their writing skill at all. Such inability obstructs their capacity to understand the audience, communicate based on appropriate requirements, express self well; they end up losing an opportunity to get exposed to the beautiful world of vocabulary and texts.

 

Educational Status – The productivity from better educated and trained workers are huge compared to the uneducated and untrained workers(Human Development Report , 2015). The inability to speak English fluently puts limitations in enhancing the educational status, especially in higher education.People struggle a lot to learn the key concepts and apply them in the job that they do.

 

Exposure to Worldly Culture – Exposure to worldly culture is highly essential for achieving larger educational advances, gaining high-quality prospect and privilege, promoting basic learning abilities and utilizing exciting opportunities. Not knowing English works as a barrier to get exposed to such worldly culture.

 

Thought Formation & Cultural Conflicts –The limitations one undergoes in educational status due to English Speaking inability blocks the thought formation. Such blockages in the thought formation makes it impossible for professionals to understand the ever changing symbolic dimensions of life.

Culture is an essential part of conflict and conflict resolution. Cultures are like underground rivers that run through our lives and relationships, giving us messages that shape our perceptions, attributions, judgments, and ideas of self and other.

Though cultures are powerful, they are often unconscious, influencing conflict and attempts to resolve conflict in imperceptible ways” (LeBaron, 2003).

Career Opportunities & Professional Growth – The limitations in vocabulary and grammar aptitude severely affects the way the professionals communicate and make it extremely hard for others to understand. Vocabulary is the foundation for building the basic communication. Not understanding or inability to use vocabulary appropriately leads to lot of professional conflicts spoiling the growth. The professionals tend to miss out greater career opportunities and in-turn encounter failures in life.

 

Personal Growth – The limitations discussed above in various perspectives due to English speaking inability retain these professionals in a personal comfort zone. Such positioning greatly impacts the happiness and in-turn the personal growth of these professionals from 360 degrees.

 

The Current State of Prevailing Training Entities

 

Instruction Based Training – Training helps people to become qualified and proficient in doing their jobs and effectively accomplish their responsibilities. Most of the current training programs provide Presentation based training. Such models majorly work as one-way communication; not allowing the trainees to effectively interact for both internal and external development.

Pace Set by the Presenter – Training is the process of acquiring specific skills to perform a job better. Normally, an organization enables the employees’ learning through training so that their improved performance contributes to the accomplishment of the organization’s goals and objectives. As Ferris puts in book ‘Teaching, Learning and the Net Generation’, the pace of elucidation may vary from one another and it is very important for the presenter to understand that(Teaching, Learning and the Net Generation, 2012).  Unfortunately, in most of the current training entities, the pace is set by the presenter for their convenience rather address the ‘real’ requirements of the attendees.

“One size fit for all” Formula – Not all the Training programs address the requirements of attendees in different understanding and knowledge levels. The current trend is “One size fit for all”- it is relating to approaches that are in the standard form not personalized to individual requirements. Not aiming at fulfilling the complete requirements of the trainees, these entities address a few common issues related to the topic or subject being trained during the session.

Specific Skill Enhancement Needs – Van Dersal (1962) defined training as the process of teaching, informing, or educating people so that (1) they become very well qualified to do their job, and (2) they become qualified to perform in positions of greater difficulty and responsibility”(FAO, 2016). Most of the current training programs do have an inability to address the skill enhancement needs of all attendees. They neither prefer to pinpoint the lacking skills of trainees nor provide effective ways to mitigate such skill gaps.

Possible Interfering Factors

 

From the Perspective of Professionals and Individuals

Issues in FundamentalsLearnt:

 

Communication is the key component for career growth. No matter whichis your specialised area, powerful communication is likely to play a vital role in how excellent you perform in the profession.

  • Unfortunately, the professionals who can read, write and converse in English use it only for the functional purpose. They do notworry about the fundamentals of using it appropriately in cultural perspective. For example, using appropriate citation and references in a technical document elevates the authenticity of the information shared and induces more interest in reader’s mind.
  • In this globalized work scenario, doing even a single task requires collaborating with various stakeholders; imagine the impact of poor communication skill in various activities involved in completing any responsibility, major decision making, running a business, etc.,
  • Not only IT or medical industry, the professionals from all institutions, industries, professional fields require effective communication skill not only to perform their basic duties, but to excel in what they do.

Unmindful about the Importance of Speaking English:

“Being aware that you are unaware,” is a statement that has strong sense to it.

  • The fundamentals of English language taught as a part of curriculum focused only on the aspect of scoring high during exams rather using them for the personal and professional growth; neither the professionals proactively involved themselves in mastering the language nor the schools/educational institutes focus beyond that level
  • The professionals, getting used to the luxury of their comfort zone without realizing the importance of speaking English, do not take any accountability to learn the language
  • They are also ignorant of the business, career growth and economic advantages that they can attain by efficaciously speaking English
  • Not aware of how to learn spoken English and use it to their advantage that can give a stunning way to make perfect livelihood

Limitations in the Current Training Programs for B2B sector

 

Effective communication skills at the organizational level transform the professional image of the organization and help building brand equity. The structured and advanced communication skill not only improves the interpersonal interactive ability, but also elevate the productivity of the key people in strategic decision making, think tank groups, sales, marketing, finance, lead generation, human resources, support functions, technical and non-technical arenas.

No Coaching approach, rather ONLY training approach – A world of change starts from within. Coaching perspective brings in lots of questions to ponder that helps the attendees to analyze thyself; encourages the professionals think from within.Unfortunately, the currenttrend followed in the training entities merely explains the concepts and leaves the trainees in vein. Especially, the B2B sector requires coaching approach when it comes to comprehensive communication skill development.

NoComprehensive English Language Course Program to address B2B requirements – The professionals in the corporate, business and work sectors are self-taught when it comes to communication skill; limiting their proficiency at functional level. For example, an IT Engineer who has studied in English limits his/her language usage at functional perspective. He/she uses it to discuss, write and converse technical stuff; not to interact well with the clients and other stakeholders, most importantly, because they give less to nil importance to non-technical communication

 

Limitations in the Current Training Programs for B2C sector

 

Selection of Curriculum and Effective Trainers – The curriculum is neither customized/personalized, nor accommodative according tothe knowledge level and the life style of audience. Standard format caters only to specific needs, not trying to fulfil 100% improvement. An effective trainer can improve the skill sets and competencies of an individual to enhance his/her performance. For the sake of saving cost, most of the training programs hire trainers who are not well equipped orappropriately trained to manage specific audience requirements.

 

“Excellence is about stepping outside the comfort zone, training with a spirit of endeavour, and accepting the inevitability of trials and tribulations. Progress is built, in effect, upon the foundations of necessary failure. This is the essential paradox of expert performance. When these conditions are in place, learning takes off, knowledge escalates, and performance soars. You are on the path to excellence(Syed, 2010)”

 

 

 

 

Background Information – Access to background information is highly important for the trainees to get benefitted fully; but the current training programs offer only few references in form of activities or examples as the research done while preparing the content is also limited.

 

Flashy Education aiming at Richer Audience – Unfortunately, the training industry is churning out to be one as expensive and flashy natured, accommodating only the richer audience; addressing only the mind-set of rich parents. They keep the cost very high which becomes practicallyunaffordable for the common public who do not get the right educational support to learn the language.

Weaker Programme – On the whole, no short term program can give 100% result. Most of the training entities, understanding the weaknesses of English/Communication requirements, offer short term courses addressing few areas here and there.

Boasting English asa Tough Language to Learn – “A positive, can-do attitude is a real selling point for graduates. This has to bring inself-confidence, willingness to work hard to achieve goals based on the company’s objectives. Pride in their own work and a desire to perform their best will take them a long way(Hinchliffe, 2009).” Instead of inducing such positive approach, most of the training entities try to create a mind-set that English is very tough to learn. Unfortunately, they don’t realize the fact that such approach would affect the person’s self-esteem leading to catastrophic professional life.

Future Desired State

The Future Desired State of Professionals who lack in Communication Skill

  • Clarity on understanding the effectiveness and benefits of improved communication skill
  • Ability to utilize their English Speaking and Communication Skill to full potential
  • Ability to utilize their communication skill beyond functional level and to achieve at cultural level; understanding the positive impact on personal and professional accomplishment
  • Improved writing skill and write extensively to exercise the language to its full capacity in order to be successful in personal and professional life
  • Improved decision making ability, problem solving skill for heightened personal growth
  • Sharp ability in selling their ideas, negotiating well, influencing others, thinking logically and effectively converting the context into content and expressing thoughts efficaciously, etc.,

 

Overall, in order to achieve greater heights in their personal and professional life, the professionals should be able to converse well in English; make the best use of it to full potential while communicating.Such individual growth will ultimately result in improving the organizational success which in turn helping the economic evolution of the country and a greater progression at global level.

The Future Desired State of Professionals who lack in Language Skill, Spoken English Skill and Communication Skill

 

If the language is used to address the interaction in cultural perspective, it provides them the stronger base to grow in this globally competitive era. The future state of these professionals must be:

 
  • Enhanced educational status
  • Exposed to global culture
  • Improved thinking ability; clarity on thought process and heightened conflict resolution skill
  • Attained global career opportunity and in-turn professional and financial growth 

 

Gap Identification

 

Gap analysis indicates a great mismatch existing in:

  • Professional’s ability to (1) utilizing thecommunication expertiseto improve negotiation, influencing, brains storming, informed decision making skills, and (2)speak in English fluently for personal growth, which ultimately results in preeminent professional growth
  • Instead of creating consciousness on the opportunities professional miss out due to language inability and focus on improving their interpersonal and professional communication ability, most of the existing training entities converge more on flashy training programs that offer no complete or comprehensive solution to the professionals

Gap Description

 

Midst innumerable reasons, the fact that echoes the most is the recklessness and lack of interest & awareness among professionals about the effectiveness of Communication skill and Spoken English, and the training entities using it as an opportunity for revenue generation rather providing real value.

The gap identified in the section above leave some very obvious voids in the Communication skill development &Spoken English language and its impact on the personal and professional growth of professionals. Even professionals who have undergone higher studies ormanagement education do not measure up to industry standards when it comes to utilizing their communication skill to full potential.

Facts and Figures

 

Communication Skill Gap in Personal & Professional Level

Focusing on Engineering graduates who are one of the major sources for current Indian GDP growth in India, around 600,000 engineers graduate annually from various colleges. Aspiring Minds, a leading employability credentialing firm, has exposed that only 18.43% of all engineering graduates are eligible for a software engineer’s job in India. Theincapability in English language &communication skills makes them lose out many opportunities(The National Employability Report, 2016).

As per their report, 97% of Indian engineers cannot communicate effectively and speak in English, which is one of the obligatory requirements for working in any software or IT firm. In fact, 67% of all engineers do not possess any basic communication skills (understanding, talking, comprehension) which are required for economy jobs or white collared job which can have major repercussion on the job market in the country.

These results were derived from two studies given below:

a)Communication & English language skills were tested on 30,000 would be engineers from 500 engineering colleges across the nation(The National Spoken English Skills of Engineers Report, 2016).

  1. b) Approximately 1.2 lakh engineering students from 520 engineering colleges were surveyed for employability skills. This particular test was conducted on those students who passed out in 2013(National Employability Report for Engineering Graduates, 2016).

Interesting facts from these studies:

  • 71.23% of the students lacked soft and cognitive skills, majorly in communication expertise
  • 97% of the students cannot speak English fluently which is required for getting a IT job
  • 57.96% of students lacked analytical and quantitative skills
  • 61% of students possess grammar skills which is almost same as the school going kid
  • Only 7.1% of students could speak English which is considered as meaningful, and presentable during an interview
  • The major problem was witnessed with greater level of communication issues including pronunciation, fluency, grammar and sentence construction

Aspiring Minds CEO & Co-founder Himanshu Aggarwal said, “The low employability among engineering graduates is a cumulative outcome of poor education standards and higher demand of skilled employees thereby creating a drastic skill gap in the country.”Even the white collared IITs and NITs are not spared when it comes to communication skill &English language fluency. As per Aspiring Minds, a fresher can easily lose 30-50% of salary, in case his communication skills are below expectations.

Picture 1

Source:http://trak.in/tags/business/2015/08/11/reality-indian-engineers-97-cant-speak-english/

Picture 2

Source: Aspiring Minds

The above picture 1 shows the Employability percentages in IT Industry Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities in India. The Picture 2 shows the percentage of professionals who has ‘Spoken English and Communication capability’ from Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 cities. The percentages in Picture 2 are derived based CEFR (Common European Framework for References) level for languages. A1 is the beginner level and goes upto C2 who are the masters of the language. The maximum percentage we have here only 40% that too in beginner level. Why there is such a gap in English Language skill even though English is an integral part of Indian curriculum?

UB Desai who is the director of IIT Hyderabad certainly thinks so. He said, “Over the years, the focus in the education system has shifted to Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics. Focus on soft skills has reduced hence the students lose out on good job prospects as many companies come to campuses for global positions as well.”

Gautam Biswas, director, IIT Guwahati said, “We get students from different backgrounds and regions, and they are mostly not comfortable with English and give entrance examination in their mother tongue which becomes difficult for them to follow the curriculum.”

Importance of Communication Skill in Growing India

Time and again we hear that there is a shortage of manpower skilled in effective communication in India; yet very little has been done to address this issue. In fact, one could argue that the deficit has only grown over the last 10 years. Various employment surveys in India have pointed out that there is a wageadvantage of approximately 35% to those that are able to converse and communicate efficiently.

In other words, enhanced communication skill and fluency in the English language has a material impact on one’s livelihood and prospects for future growth. With digitization, India will be poised for explosive growth, while the challenges as highlighted above are real and daunting, we believe digital engagement in the long-run will bypass some of the bottlenecks and fulfil the demand-supply outlook for people with communication skills.

Foreign Languages Usage in Other Countries, including India

 

‘The language, when used as verbal, non-verbal, virtual and written forms, helps in expressing our feelings, observations, thoughts, needs and our identities’(Hayes, 2006). Beyond expressions, the language is majorly used in effectively communicating the information and opening up an opportunity to essential actions.

Foreign languages are essential to ensure that citizens can work without any inhibitionsaround the world. The European Commission adopted a Communication initiative in 2008(EuroStat, 2016) focusing on encouraging citizens to learn new language and came up with below resolutions:

  • Encourage multilingualism which strengthens the social and intercultural dialogue
  • Promote multilingualism as a factor to improve economy’s employability and competitiveness
  • Increasing assistance for translation, in order to encourage the circulation of works and propagate the ideas and knowledge across the world
  • Promote learning multi languages across the world for holding global positions

Nicholas Weiler, in his journal article, ‘Speaking a second language may change how you see the world’, explains in his Turning to language learning in upper secondary general education in Europe, students were studying English as a foreign language, compared with less than one quarter (23.0 %) studying French, while less than one fifth were studying Spanish (19.1 %) or German (18.9 %) (2015).

The Barcelona European Council recommended that at least two foreign languages should be taught to all the students from a very early age. This recommendation was given as a part of compulsory secondary education, either by making it mandatory to teach a second language, or ensuring that students have the possibility to study a second foreign language as part of their curriculum. English is still the most commonly studied foreign language at lower secondary level, with 97.1% of students learning it, far ahead of French (34.1%), German (22.1%) and Spanish (12.2%) (Census Bureau American Community Survey, 2014).

‘Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Korean, Vietanamese, Taglog, German, Hebrew, Punjabi, Hindi, Telugu and Tamil are most popular foreign languages spoken in various states of the USA’(WorldAtlas, 2016).India is known for its lingusitic variances and unity Indians achieve in such diversity. The laangugae diversty in India is majorly based on regligious, regionals and cultural variences.

English Language Usage in Other Countries, including India

The European Commission collaborated with UNESCO and the OECD to collect and analyse data on language teaching across the globe. The situation has changed rapidly and in most of the countries achieved marked increase in the proportion of citizens learning English; In 2014, it exceeded by 50%. As a widely spoken language, English is spoken by ½ billion in 42 countries and 1/3 of the world use English as its official language. Overall, more people learn English than French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, German and Chinese combined(The world’s languages in 7 maps and charts, 2015).

Hindi, the most extensively spoken language in India today, serves as the lingua franca, across much of North and Central India. Hindi is the most widely spoken language and primary tongue of 41% of the Indian population. However, English enjoys the status of subsidiary official language and is the most important language for national, political, and commercial communication. The evaluation of English as universal language began when the British Empire established its usage in many regions including India, North America, Africa, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand (Wikipedia, 2016).

Among the key Asian business centres, India scores 3rd place in highest proficiency in English Index, next to Singapore and Malaysia. Think about the job opportunities such placement can bring in to the professionals with good Spoken English and Communication Skill. The below picture depicts the above statement (Make in India: An Alternative Production Base with a Huge Local Market, 2016).

Gap in English Language Usage in India

India faces an enormous challenge when comes to spoken English fluency. The significant challenge is faced in “employability” options. Digital engagement is the only way forward to address the challenge in the shortest possible period of time, given the fundamental tailbacks associated with poor quality teachers and lack of calibration of practices and quality across traditional “class-room” type engagement models.

The Government of India proposed primary schools in the country identified lack of fluency in the English language at both the teacher and student levels to be a significant disadvantage when compared to the private schools in the country.

The initial investigation found the following factors for the low fluency levels in English, apart from poor quality of instructions in the schools:

  • Lack of opportunity to speak in English
  • Lack of an effective medium to “practice” spoken English with fellow beings
  • Fear of public ridicule and embarrassment to engage anyone in English

It is indeed commendable initiative as it’s clear to have national level impact in the shortest possible period of time.

Shortfall of Spoken English

It is projected that there are over 340 m “English Users” in India. English users by definition mean individuals that have some understanding of English and “use” English to read the occasional message, seek help and instructions etc. Out of the total of 340 m, there are only 90 m that speak the English language.

Further, it is estimated that merely 10 – 15 m actually speak the English language fluently in India. This number is staggeringly low when compared to the total population of 1.25 billion.

Bridging the GAP

 

‘The human resources department considers workplace & interpersonal communication skill as indispensable for personal growth and job success. Communication skill is a must to survive in the globally competitive environment and the skill determines the height of one’s personal and professional development. Developing communication skill help the employees to perform better in international communication tasks’(Qing, 2016).Beyond technological growth, the exposure to various cultural values are made possible only because of the communication skill that human beings have adopted. Apart from the original scripts, translated and transliterated literature from other cultures, countries are widely being used in researches and various studies.

 

Language is the means of development and natural legacy of humankind; through language, human beings have hatched, transformed, communicated their ideas that led to evolution that we have been witnessing for the past years. To put in simple terms, without language skill, accessing, learning and adapting to the blueprints of various knowledge transformations, from simple concepts to intricate scientific and technological breakthrough, from the developed countries is almost impossible.

A journal article byJohn Ikechukwu Ezeude, we learn that ‘only through language, these developed countries embark on manpower development programme and elevate the level of developing countries. The developing countries by learning the language of the benefactor countries get benefitted’(Achieving Man Power Development Through Language Education, 2015).

When it comes to the impact of Language skill for human kind evolution, no one can deny the fact that English dominates the globe due to its widespread usage among world population. An Assessment of the Communicative and Developmental Needs of English language in a Multilingual Nigeria done by Obiegbu & Njemanze, English learning and using it as an important instrument for effective communication is claimed primarily because of its impact on personality and intellectual development, creating positive approach towards enhancing the knowledge level, effective exposure to global environment that leads to healthy socialization process (2015).

It is highly important to create atransformation in the thought process of professionals, upon which it becomes a responsibility of training organizations to create such awareness among professionals. Bridging the gaps that have been identified in this document cannot be mitigated just by improving the language skill or merely training them with basic communication ability.

There is a huge need raised for a comprehensive and well thought of training suite which can address the spoken English and communication ability of professionals at the root level. When we say spoken English, the training program must strengthen the basic English nuances before facilitating them to the speaking part of it.

When the basics are given stronger base, the changes will happen from within, the trainees will be able to converse well in any given situation and with any type of audience. Likewise, when it comes to communication skill development, the trainees should be able to think well, convert their thoughts into content, present their content well that they can sell their thoughts and negotiate, influence others for harvesting the overall benefits.

The various requirements discussed above raise a need for a comprehensive training suite that addresses both the Communication Skill Development and Spoken English Skill Enhancement. Only such comprehensive program can develop the strong base, change in thought process and prepare the trainees well equipped to create win-win situation. 

Introducing Comprehensive Communication Skill Development & SpeakSure Spoken English Program

 

To mitigate the gaps discussed above, Train to Prosperhas comeup with a comprehensive skill enhancement program focusing on improvingthe English speaking ability of the professionals and to make the best use of it for communication purpose.

 

Branded as ‘Comprehensive Communication Skill Development & SpeakSure Spoken English Program’, the training suite addresses various key elements needed by the professionals at the individual level to attain personal and professional growth.

“You speak what you think. Yes, you speak what you think. Or if you don’t think then you can’t speak. Because we use words, symbols, rules and structures to speak and the same things are being used to think also. Why is it not necessary to teach a child its mother tongue? Because the child understands his surroundings and analyses situations using symbols and words which are mainly of his mother tongue. So you speak what you think. If you think in Marathi you speak Marathi, if you think in Gujarati you speak Gujarati, if you think in French you speak French. If you can think in English, you can speak English fluently. So the easiest way you can develop a powerful English Language for yourself is to think in English, using words, symbols and structures all from English Language.”-       Martin Athanas, Founder, Train to Prosper

 

 

USP of Comprehensive Communication Skill Development & SpeakSure Spoken English Program

Blended Approach for B2B

Personalized & Customized Program Design – The blended approach of comprehensive communication skill development &SpeakSure Spoken English program begins with assessing varied abilities and understanding the exact weaknesses of the trainees. Train to Prosper has developed an internal system to record the weaknesses pertaining to the individuals and work exclusively to get rid of those weaknesses. The assessments are conducted through various modes and one on one interaction is effectively utilized for better understanding of the participants.

Common factor Identification – In order to improve the effectiveness of the comprehensive program, the common factors that majorly affect the group is identified through the internal tracking system. To avoid ‘one suit fit for all’ concept, the majorly concerned skills are identified and the solutions are suggested to address such weaknesses. This approach majorly helps in spending the precious time of the participants focusing on improving the necessary skills.

Post Training Support with Tracking and Coaching – Based on the assessment using the scoring system, Train to Prosper discusses results with the participants post training. The trainees who have scored less are suggested further coaching to excel in what they lack. The speciality here is the ‘One on one’ coaching sessions provided to those who score low grades and the session continues until they excel.

Unified Approach for B2C

 

Part I – The program begins with focusing on building strong foundation.

The trainees will gain strong:

  • Foundation in Vocabulary
  • Foundation in Grammar
  • Foundation in Sentence Structuring & Sentence Making

Part II – Once the fundamentals are taught and the attendees are assessed, those who scored well will move on to learning the curriculum designed as part II.

This part covers:

  • Basic Vocabulary
  • Basic Grammar
  • Sentence Making & Basic Conversation

Part III – Upon excelling in fundamentals and basics of English Speaking, the trainees will be promoted to learning Part III which is an advance level of the training program suite.

Part III covers:

  • Advanced Vocabulary
  • Composition, Structuring, Advanced Grammar
  • Voice and Accent Elements

 

Salient Features of Execution ofComprehensive Communication Skill Development & SpeakSure Spoken English Program

 

Doing it Right at the First Time

 

Conversation starts from the first class onwards; this helps a great deal in making them come out of their comfort zone and developing the habit of presenting their work. The trainees build confidence from the beginning itself which acts as a great motivational factor.

State-of-the-Art Approaches

 

In order to address various cultural and social biases that accompany language training programs, the story based approach is used during the first two steps. As the trainees get accustomed well to the training program, different thoughtful approachesare used in part III which is an advanced level. This way, the changes are induced in the thought process and the enhancement occurs from within consciously.

Homogeneous Content

 

The content is pre-recorded in video format and used homogeneously; the instructor first plays the day’s content and connect with the exercises for better learning experience. This coaching approach results in inducing the thought process of the trainees and makes it more interesting and engaging during the entire session.

Assessment & Monitoring

 

Periodic & Consistent testing and scoring system at every level makes the entire program unique. The trainees are assessed periodically; suggestions are provided either to repeat or progress ahead with the respective courses to strengthenwith a strong base. Fundamentals are given utmost importance so that the progress happens seamlessly and consistently.

Practical Applications for Comprehensive Communication Skill Development & SpeakSure Spoken English Program

 

By the inherent quality of the content architecture design & development ofComprehensive Communication Skill Development & SpeakSure Spoken English program, the below mentioned practical applications come as a knock-on feature.

Practical Applications for Businesses

 

Creativity and Creative Thinking

 

Creative thinking is the foundation for dreaming up new ventures and unique way of approaching things. Creativity or creative thinking has become a crucial attribute for businesses to succeed in this globally competitive market.

  • Take an example of Innovation occurred in ‘Taxi Services’ in the recent times. Just few years back, before booking a ticket for air, railway or road commuting, we used to worry and plan well aheadfor reaching the boarding points. After an innovative thought of using communication technologies, like ‘Ola’Uber’ and many companies, now we can track and plan our travel as and how it is convenient for each one of us.

The evolution in communication and language skill has always led humankind in coming up with various creative solutions; this comprehensive program is designed to induce such creativity and creative thinking skill in the attendees so that they contribute for the self and business growth by implementing innovative approaches.

Negotiation & Convincing Ability Enrichment

 

No one can deny the fact behind the impact of negotiation and convincing skill in running a business. Poor negotiation can easily kill the prospective opportunities and cripple a business. The effective communication and language expertise is the backbone of any negotiation that leads to win-win situation.

  • The well-known story of Apple; The dispute over Samsung’s galaxy line of phones which Apple claimed as a ‘look and feel’ of iPhone. The negotiation trails between the CEOs, Tim Cook and Gee-Sung Choi failed and they had to sort out the issue in court. The ‘Mediation’ which was used as a ‘dispute resolution technique’ led to such failure in negotiating and convincing.

Negotiation is not only about convincing the customers to buy your product or a service. It is also about resolving conflicts and disputes. The comprehensive program from Train to Prosper come up with innovative and practical applications to enhance a negotiation and convincing ability such that the attendees, and, ultimately, businesses are well equipped in running a business successfully.

Brainstorming Strength Development

Brainstorming is the most common activity that occur in all businesses, especially while taking important decision and implementing high level changes. Brainstorming ability is the key in managing any change that occur at the organizational level.

  • For example, Logo creation is one of the key aspect that builds brand for any business. The first ever made business symbol that creates a brand image in client’s mind is Logo; creating a logo requires serious thought process and amalgamation of creative minds. Unless a brainstorming session with the key business people, creating a logo can be disastrous. Unilever logo, an inclusion of 25 products, is one best example which is a result product of an in-depthbrainstorming session (Unilever, 2016).

Logo creation is just a small part of branding exercises; imagine about allthe important decisions involved and necessary logical thinking behind such decisions in starting and running a business. If not advanced level of communication strength and language skill, brainstorming sessions end up as a ‘waste of precious time’. The practical applications that come along with this comprehensive program enhances the communication ability such that creativity is induced and the professionals come up with innovative solutions during a brainstorming session.

Content Development Capability Enhancement

 

Content is king. With the evolution in digital media marketing approaches dominating other traditional business strategies, content development capability is a must for businesses.

  • Even Core Tech companies develop tools to use content for their key marketing and branding initiatives. EMC has ‘Documentum’, an internal ContentManagement System from where the content is integrated with process management system to improve collaboration among various functions
  • HP and Oracle are using internally designed tools to manage content and integrate the same with various functionalities to improve productivity and overall growth

Amidst all the automated tools implemented, still we need human beings to develop various content to be used in such systems. The comprehensive program provides the best in class practical applications through which the attendees learn the intricacies of content designing and development. Few examples are PPTs, process documents, training documents, etc.,

Practical Applications for Individual Professionals

 

Clarity in Thinking

 

Clarity in thinking involves a process that is based on evidence and logical reasoning. Such clarity in thoughts help a great deal in making decisions without involving unnecessary and disturbing emotions or factors.

  • The clarity in thinking ability of Sachin Tendulkar is the best example we can think of here. As we all are aware that he is the ‘best’ batsman India has got. However, he couldn’t perform well as a captain of Indian cricket team. If not his clarity in thinking ability which led to making a decision of quitting the captaincy and focusing on his core skills, we wouldn’t have witnessed so many victories for Sachin himself and subsequently for the country.

Through Clarity on thoughts, one understands the full potential of themselves and develop an ability to make the best decisions ever. The Comprehensive Communication Skill Development and Spoken English program from Train to Prosper gifts the participants with the practical application to critically think and make the right decisions in life.

Mental Bandwidth/Mental Attitude

 

No one can lead a life without facing challenges and problems. Success comes to those who are able to overcome such challenges and win over various problems in life. What makes a difference in these successful people is nothing but their ‘Mental Bandwidth’ or ‘Mental Attitude’.

  • Who can be the better example than our own ‘Mary Kom’ for showcasing the ‘Mental Attitude’? Born in a conservative, tribal community in Manipur, only woman who have won medals in 6 categories of World Boxing Championship. She won such fame and name amidst facing, overcoming various challenges arrived from her own community without any great support system, etc., Only her mental bandwidth won her all the awards and fame.

Train to Prosper brings in such Mental Bandwidth in the participants by using practical application which is an integral part of the program.

Creativityand Innovative Thinking Ability

 

Creativity is context dependent; when induced, gives clarity on the context of the situation one is in. It further drives innovative thinking ability and leads to newer solutions to the situation or a problem.

  • Facebook, a creative and fun filled simple application developed by Mark Zuckerberg when he was in school is a multi-billion $ company today. The original idea behind Facebook was just to build an online portalto communicate among school network turned him out to be one of the best known strategists in the world.

Communication and language skill play a major role in inducing creativity and productivity based on innovative solutions. Train to prosper propels such creative thinking ability through practical applications which is a by-product of comprehensive communication skill development and SpeakSure Spoken English Program.

Logical Thinking

 

What is logical thinking and why is it a compulsory skill? Logical thinking is defined as the ability to observe & analyse the phenomenon, happenings, reactions, results, feedback and aid in coming into conclusions based on facts.

  • Logical thinking benefits majorly in quickly analysing the situations and making decisions. Such logical thinking ability is what makes Viswanathan Anand the world chess champion numerous times.

If the logical thinking can be applied in what one does, they will become the champion of what they do. Train to Prosperhas beautiful practical application toinduce and develop logical thinking ability, as a part of Comprehensive Communication Skill Development and SpeakSure Spoken English Program.

Conclusion

 

The requirement differs from person to person when it comes to improving Communication Skill, Language Ability and Spoken English Capability. The well sought and carefully designed Comprehensive Communication Skill Development & SpeakSure Spoken English Programfrom Train to Prospercomes as an extremely cost effective solution addressing specific and ultimate level requirements.

As discussed in the above section, the practical applications addressing the specific and special requirements of Individuals and Businesses are the supreme level add-ons that come as an integral part of the entire training program suite. From commercial perspective, it is highly advantageous for corporate and businesses due to its design that addresses the communication skill enhancement in the areas of thinking lab, brainstorming, product development, group discussions and both for technical and non-technical audience.

 

About Train to Prosper

Train to Prosper is a Consulting & Advisory, Executive Coaching and Be-Spoke Training services firm that help companies small, medium and large to device best business strategies, have efficient manpower to execute those strategies and develop managers and leaders to run businesses profitably.

Industries & Functions Catered

 

  • Sales/Marketing/Business Development, Leadership, Operations, Customer Care, HR, Finance, Training & Development
  • Banking, Finance, E-Commerce, Education, Events & Media, FMCG, Hospitality & Tourism, KPO, BPO, IT, ITES, Engineering, Real Estate, Retail, Telecom and Service organizations

 Panel of Trainers

 Subject matter experts, well equipped and specialized in providing various training programs, virtually any topic ranging from technical skills, soft skills, sales skills, personality development, leadership development, etc.,

 Achieve Huge ROI

 Our expertise comes at extremely cost effective model where our robust system assures training effectiveness on delivering the best ROI.  To address various requirements & budget constraints, training programs are designed as class room sessions, workshops, one on one, online/virtual media mode and webinars.

About Mr. Martin Athanas, Founder, Train to Prosper

A thought process leader and a great influencer, Mr. Martin Athanas, Founder, Train to Prosper, comes with more than 20 years of experience in Mentoring, Training, Coaching and Conducting Sales Enhancement and various training programs. With an aim to enhance the lives of the professionals and individuals, Martin began his entrepreneurial journey with ‘Power Axis – Center of Human Engineering in 2000, followed by Sales game India in 2010 and combined the services under a single brand ‘Train to Prosper’ in 2016. He has played various roles in Sales and Training verticals during his professional journey and heightened personal growth for individuals and revenue growth for companies/corporate.


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