MBA - Managing Soft Skills


By

Pramit Das
B.Com(H), MBA, PGDJMC, Fellow-HRD, CSMT, AIMA
Faculty Member - Marketing
ICFAI
 


"Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things." Peter Drucker

As a fresh college graduate, two-year-long management curriculum at my B-school make me learn several new domains like; marketing, finance, economics, quantitative methods, organisational behaviour. These are all indispensable fundamentals for working in a multi-disciplinary corporate environment. For a fresh commerce graduate like me, the utmost learning thrust was in business economics and quantitative application. As it was very important to run through the management and macro-economics fundamentals and work with figures to evaluate performance, identify the problem areas and make decisions.

Perhaps the most significant facet MBA curriculum was its special emphasis on Soft Skills. I used to bunk a lot of communication classes and because of its stiff and rigid practical exercises, it wasn't the most popular course. But it has turned out to be the principal facilitator to express our views in actual corporate situations persuasively and concisely.

Another important aspect of our MBA curriculum was that my fellow batch mates were coming from heterogeneous background. Such a diverse profile helps us to create a pool of experience. It's you who also gain knowledge of adapting and accommodating people as they are, a handy intangible dexterity in workplaces that you can cherished all through your life. Such edification process facilitates team-building and partaking in group activities, which provide us an unique opportunity to build inter-personal relationships. This is what I have learned in behavioural sciences and immediately put it in practice, where class became a perfect simulation for a corporate environment. This is also where you also get a chance to appraise yourself and comprehend your self-worth. It helps in appreciating yours colleague assessments and sentiments, besides building your own level of self-belief. I have seen few of my classmates coming from semi-urbanized areas ending up communicating with sparkling English vocabulary and mind boggling pay packages in the two years tenure.

In my mind there are four most imperative attribute of managerial accomplishment; the skills to understand and play with emphericals, analytical competency from a multi-disciplinary angle, motivational communication and Leadership skills. Baring the first attribute, all other are the direct outcome of effectual appliance of Soft skills.

In my days the ultimate B-School fundas were; Management philosophies were not inert; there were no "golden rules" that you can make it relevant to all situations. Again every situation was contextual: you have to foresee and forecast the changing environment, and provide the right leadership maneuver to manage it. While enterprising such change management, you need to safeguard your own values and strategic interests. At end of the day the stamina of your enterprising skills depends on your own attitude. This is what we have learned for two years in our B-school, to develop a positive attitude.

Peter Drucker coined the famous term knowledge worker and ushered a new decade, a transition from money driven economy to knowledge driven economy, which effectively challenges Karl Marx's world-view of the political economy. According to Drucker, "In fact, that management has a need for advanced education - as well as for systematic manager development - means only that, management today has become an institution of our society.' He further adds, 'Business has two functions, Marketing and Innovation, rest are all costs.' Management is all about nurturing societal value system where Management education has only two functions polishing Soft Skills and Innovation Skills, rest are all Theories. This is how the young B-school graduates will recreate our future.
 


Pramit Das
B.Com(H), MBA, PGDJMC, Fellow-HRD, CSMT, AIMA
Faculty Member - Marketing
ICFAI
 

Source: E-mail June 11, 2008

           

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