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    SOFT SKILLS AND PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT

    Objectives

     

    Effective communication and interpersonal skills are crucial to increase employment opportunities and to compete successfully in the business environment. The real key to the effectiveness of professionals is their ability to put their domain knowledge into effective practice. In this context, soft skills have a crucial role to play. If future managers know how to deal with people at the emotional level (peers, subordinates, superiors, clients, suppliers, etc.) through Emotional Intelligence (EI), they can build and sustain effective relationships that will result in mutual gain. IMPACT Compliments the PG Program curriculum with soft skills training, providing a unique opportunity for all students to develop their personality and upgrade their communication and presentation skills. The training benefits the students, both in their early professional careers and in their social interactions in the business environment.

    Soft skills provide students with a strong conceptual and practical framework to build, develop and manage teams. They play an important role in the development of the students’ overall personality, thereby enhancing their career prospects. The soft skills training provides strong practical orientation to the students and helps them in building and improving their skills in communication, the effective use of English, business correspondence, presentations, team building, leadership, time management, group discussions, interviews, and inter-personal skills. This training also helps students in career visioning and planning, effective resume writing and dealing with placement consultants and headhunters.

    The training is conducted in a very informal, interesting, and interactive manner, which gives ample scope for the students to interact with each other and face a wide variety of issues, topics, and situations that they are likely to come across as entry-level managers. 

    Objectives of Soft Skills Training

    By the end of the soft skills training program, the students should be able to:

    ·         Develop effective communication skills (spoken and written).

    ·         Develop effective presentation skills.

    ·         Conduct effective business correspondence and prepare business reports which produce results.

    ·         Become self-confident individuals by mastering inter-personal skills, team management skills, and leadership skills.

    ·         Develop all-round personalities with a mature outlook to function effectively in different circumstances.

    ·         Develop broad career plans, evaluate the employment market, identify the organizations to get good placement, match the job requirements and skill sets.

    ·         Take part effectively in various selection procedures adopted by the recruiters.

    Personality Development through Soft Skills Training

    In an age when relationships between individuals and organizations are getting more and more complex, it is not enough to only have an excellent IQ. Being good at number crunching and scoring high marks in subjects are not the only criteria for success in professional or personal life. The ability to deal with one’s feelings and understand the feelings of others in any given situation helps one to complement academic intelligence/cognitive capacities (IQ) with a humane understanding of issues. This ability is known as Emotional Intelligence or EI.

    At the Soft Skills Coaching at IMPACT, coaching is imparted to fine-tune the students’ attitudes, values, beliefs, motivation, desires, feelings, eagerness to learn, willingness to share and embrace new ideas, goal orientation, flexibility, persuasion, futuristic thinking, compassion, diplomacy, and various skill sets of communication, manners, and etiquette so that they will be able to deal with different situations diligently and responsibly. Soft skills or Emotional Intelligence Skills strengthen them from within. These skills empower them to understand "who they are" and how best they can come across as competent individuals in any given situation.

    The training in soft skills has two parts. One part involves developing attitudes and attributes, and the other part involves fine-tuning communication skills to express attitudes, ideas, and thoughts well. Crucial to successful work is the perfect integration of ideas and attitudes with appropriate communication skills in oral, written, and non-verbal areas. Attitudes and skills are integral to soft skills. Each one influences and complements the other.
     

    English Language Proficiency Test

    Grooming of the students begins with a preliminary test in the English language to determine their level of competence in the use of English for effective communication both oral and written. The idea is to ensure that students are oriented to understand that a manager’s key job is to be able to express himself/herself clearly, correctly, and concisely.

    Personality Development through Soft Skills Training at  IMPA is conducted in three modules:

    Module I

    :

    Business Communication

    Module II

    :

    Behavioral Skills

    Module III

    :

    Training in Group Discussion and Personal Interview


     

    Soft Skills Module I: Business Communication

    In this module, students get a chance to learn the nuances of English for business purposes. Business letter writing, memos, reports and e-mails form the core of the Soft Skills Lab. Rigorous training is also given in oral communication through different modules like presentation skills, face-to-face dialogues, telephone etiquette, business and social etiquette, and conversational skills.

    This module covers the following areas:

    Business Communication: Communications skills, current English usage, debates, language games, situational dialogues, précis writing, essay writing, presentations.

    Presentation Skills: Preparing for effective presentations, presentation for small groups and large groups, marketing and business presentations.

    Business Correspondence: Principles of clear writing, often misused words, applications and requests, positive and negative responses to requests, routine messages, memos, report writing, organizing meetings, preparation of agenda and minutes, business etiquette, telephone etiquette, e-mail etiquette.

    Benefits from the Training

    The ability to communicate clearly and concisely is an advantage to a promising manager. The students will soon realize that fluency and command over speaking and writing gives them an edge while interacting with people at all levels.
     

    Soft Skills Module II: Behavioral Skills

    An array of skills related to personal growth for efficient functioning constitutes the training. Students are made to realize their strengths and weaknesses so that they are able to grasp the true essence of development. They are made to take part in role plays, games, and puzzles that demonstrate the attributes needed for assertiveness, interpersonal relationships, negotiations, time and goal management, leadership skills, and conflict management.

    To enable the students to work on their weaknesses, trained counselors’ services are made available. Personality assessment tests are conducted followed by regular sessions with the counselor.

    This module covers the following areas:

    Psychological Tests: Aptitude and personality assessment, suggestions for improvement.

    Team Skills: Team building and leadership, evolution of groups into teams, group dynamics, emergence of leadership, intra-group dynamics, inter-group dynamics, conflict management, inter dependency, assessment of team-based projects.

    Time Management: Pareto’s Principle, Parkinson’s Laws, Murphy’s Laws, Law of Clutter, prioritization, goal setting, effective time management.

    Interpersonal Skills: Negotiations, listening skills, social skills, assertive skills, cross-cultural communications.

    Leadership Skills: Concepts of leadership, leadership styles, insights from great leaders.

    Benefits from the Training

    Self-awareness programs enhance the students’ personalities. They get to realize that punctuality, goal management, collaborative team skills, and listening skills, are important facets of a well-rounded personality. These soft skills are enormously valued in business organizations. As employment conditions become tougher, potential recruiters look for personal attributes like attitude and values.

    Soft Skills Module III : Training in Group Discussion (GD) and Personal Interview (PI)

    Before the students go through real job interviews, they are made to go through a series of practice sessions on GD and PI. These sessions are videotaped and later played back so that the students can see for themselves if their verbal and non-verbal messages are in synchrony and make for meaningful communication. For the practice sessions in personal interviews, industry experts are invited to be on the interview panels. Feedback is given to the students later for a realistic understanding of industry expectations.

    This module covers the following areas :
     

    Career Visioning and Planning

    Selection Process: Overview of selection process, practice of psychological tests, effective resume writing, dealing with placement consultants and headhunters, references – how to get effective references from past and current employers.

    Group Discussions: Concepts and Practice.

    Interview Techniques: Effective interview techniques, mock interviews, stress interviews, review and feedback.

    Benefits from the Training

    All management students aspire to obtain fulfilling and rewarding campus placements. How the students fare in the campus placement interviews depends on how well they are able to internalize the personality development techniques. If they internalize the techniques thoroughly, they have a good chance of getting great placements.
     

    Teaching Methods

    The teaching methods in the soft skills training include lectures, projects, role plays, quizzes, and various other participatory sessions. The emphasis will be on learning by doing.

    Since the method of training is experiential and highly interactive, the students imbibe the skills and attributes in a gradual and subtle way over the duration of the program. The students will not only learn the skills and attributes but also internalize them over a period of time.

    Internalization ensures that the skills and attributes become part of the students’ nature. Subtle changes are bound to occur in their behavior and outlook, and these will make them more self-assured and confident. Moreover, the behavior changes will be gradual and natural and will not appear artificial or put on. Thus, the changes in them will be genuine and positive.
     

    Teaching Methods

     

         Evaluation

    The Soft Skills training program is a credit course and the evaluation of the students takes place on a continuous basis. Active participation in activities, interest displayed by the students in acquiring the necessary attributes and skills, and the commitment shown by them to improve in terms of attitudes are the main criteria for evaluation.
     

    Feedback

    The effectiveness of the training session is enhanced through a two-way feedback. Wherever necessary, the faculty gives feedback to individual students on their performance and to the class in general. In turn, the students also give feedback on the training sessions. They are encouraged to give suggestions regarding the content and the delivery of the training sessions so that improvements can be made in the modules from time to time if necessary.
     

    Counseling

    Throughout their course at the IMPACT, the students will have access to the services of professional counselors. The counselors administer psychological tests to bring about a high degree of self-awareness among the students. They also guide them in the right direction so as to bring about the overall development of their personalities. The counselors also help them to sort out the problems that they might encounter in their academics or at a personal level. Thus they are assured of a high degree of emotional comfort throughout their course of study at IMPACT.

    The counselors will also give a feedback to the students on their strengths and the areas where development is needed. The students are also at liberty to approach them for any personal problems they might face during their course with  IMPACT

    In addition; the students are made aware of the stream (Marketing, Finance, HR, etc.,) for which they are most suited. This counsel is based on the profiling of the students according to the latest contemporary methods.
     

    Inputs According to Training Need Analysis

    The analysis of responses of the students to various psychometric instruments, and extensive interaction between the students, counselors and the faculty members enable the identification of specific training needs of individual students.

    IMPACT addresses these training requirements, through specifically designed training modules.
     

    Empowerment

    To conclude, the soft skills program at  IMPACT is about enabling and empowerment. With the students’ commitment, our enablers will ensure that they have a smooth transition from aspiring students to young successful managers. 

    The Students Experiential Program (SEP) is designed for the students of the PG Program of the IMPACT, allowing them to obtain practical work exposure while studying at IMPACT. This Program offers the students an opportunity to work on a part-time basis, as marketing executives to promote various programs and publications of the University College or Company. SEP is a voluntary program offering a monthly stipend and attractive performance-based incentives, apart from practical work exposure and skill development opportunities.

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