Business Communication/ English Communication is one such subject which is a staple for all the Management Courses. Be it the regular Business Administration, Sports Management, Hospital Management or Hospitality and Hotel Administration, Communication remains an integral part to all. The graph of introducing the course is three-tier – beginning with basic English Communication, then upscaling it to the more particular and specific Business Communication, until finally in the senior year the Management graduates into Soft Skills to get them industry-ready.
Basic English Communication looks into the strengthening of the technicalities of language use. The students are taken through a mixed module of reading, writing, comprehension and listening to learn the grammatically correct use of the English language. At the next level, Business Communication introduces the correct tonality, format and appropriateness of word usage that sculpts your language skills into a professional outlook. The third and final level is Soft Skills which is a journey towards employability; from making flawless resumes/ CV’s to putting your best foot forward in the interviews, Soft Skills enable the students to make informed professional decisions and career moves.
Several myths and misconceptions have clouded the understanding of the significance of studying communication skills and the rationale behind this three-pronged set-up of the communication curriculum at the degree level. Students take this subject with half a heart, always thinking that it is not a core Management subject; they quite misleadingly believe that school level English studies keep them sufficiently prepared for the language game they have to engage in when they step into the industry. As a result, they run the risk of emerging with half baked communication skills, falling to create a positive self-image for themselves or the company/ business they go on to represent.
One can only master the skill of effective Communication by clearing their head of the myths revolving around it. Here are the most popular myths around Communication that need to be busted:
1. Communication Skill is not Spoken English:
On opening the question to a class of twenty-five, “what is the first word that comes to their mind on hearing communication” a significant number of responses came in favour of Communication being equivalent to speaking. However, one should always keep in mind that Communication is an exchange of information, oral, written, verbal, non-verbal, any form.All communication modules and training programs pay more attention to how to speak instead of how to communicate in general. Writing must get equal weightage because there is a lot more to written Communication than grammatical propriety.
2. Grammar is not of utmost importance in spoken Communication:
It is true that while speaking, you cannot simply open the grammar book and spend a lot of time weighing the rule of the thumb in your mind before saying a sentence. But a total indifference to grammar may render your speech incoherent and meaningless. Grammar rules are no doubt much relaxed in spoken Communication, but it is not advisable to sell it off completely as it may lead to compromising with clarity of expression.
3. Grammarly is Flawless:
Another reason behind the waning interest in watching the rules of correct language use is the invention of tools like Grammarly and spell-check. Do not rely on Grammarly blindly as it reads by the laws of the book, which, sometimes, may vary in keeping with the context and the situation in which a sentence is written. Grammarly helps correct basic grammar and punctuation errors, but sometimes a lot depends on the writer’s discretion to decide whether or not some exceptions can be made.
4. Verbal Communication means oral Communication:
The two terms, ‘verbal’ and ‘oral’ Communication are often used interchangeably. But it is an inappropriate usage, quite in the same zone as placing Communication closer to spoken Communication. Literally, verbal means of or relating to words, whether said or written. The antonym of verbal is non-verbal, outside or beyond words, which again is a potent form of Communication.
5. Fluency is Equivalent to speaking Fast:
Many times, people get fluency confused with the ability to speak at a fast pace. The pace of your speech depends on the situation, the audience, the topic or the context in which you are speaking. Fluency is related more to the fluency of thoughts than the pace of your tongue.
6. Soft Skills and Communication Skills are Synonymous:
The major misconception making the rounds of academia is understanding communication skills and soft skills as the same thing. Communication Skills are not synonymous to soft skills; they are a part of Soft Skills. Soft Skills are an umbrella term for all that it takes to make you not just employable, but to make you stick to the job and thrive. Communication is one aspect of soft skills, not the whole of it.
Clearing your head of the myths and misconceptions creates space for a lot of thought and understanding of what communication skills are all about and how it should be taken from scratch at the academic level. Communication is a mix of content and form, of language proficiency and proper delivery, of what and how; no wonder it is often called an art whose science was discovered much later!