It is generally believed that all the MBAs that you recruit come with great communication skills – but may lack in depth knowledge.
Experience has taught me one thing. You cannot draw conclusions based on one or two students or colleagues. To draw a conclusion, you need a huge, huge database across genders, medium of schooling, communities, geographies..and with that data you MAY be able to draw some conclusions….
Once in a MBA school (long time ago when I thought teaching was a noble profession) one HoD said – these kids are from the Hindi belt, they know the subject, but do not know English, hence they are not getting jobs.
I asked him what he was doing to rectify the situation. He said “Oh we are planning to give them Communication skills Workshop. Here we will teach them English, and some techniques on presentation, etc..”
I said let us pick up a 2-3 students and check out what is the problem (luckily he agreed – teachers are the worst when it comes to listening – ask me I am one!!!).
I asked 3 students to speak on ‘Why invest in equities’ – and they struggled speaking in English. I ‘saw’ a ‘I told you’ on the HoD’s face. I said “Now speak in Hindi…on the same subject”.
FUNNILY, they still struggled.
I said speak in English about India’s performance in the 2003 world cup – THEY ALL COULD SPEAK IN ENGLISH (reasonable English, yes there sere mistakes). Then I asked them to speak in Hindi, they were fluent.
I told the HoD – they needed to understand the subject better, far far better than what they currently do. Their syllabus was too long and big. They COULD NOT do justice to the SUBJECT – not enough time, so they choose to do selective studying (this serves the exam purpose)…and in real life flounder.
Same thing is happening in India about financial education. Many people know – spend less than you earn, create an emergency fund, start early, compounding, do your SIP – these have been written about ad nauseum. I think we need some basic behavioural finance classes! Identifying the problem is more important – preaching is not working!
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