Saturday, August 15, 2009

LDP Aug 2009 - Communication - just doesn't mean to talk

Ahmed Baig conducted a good session on Communication Skills as part of the Leadership Development Programme for the trg tech team. The session was of about 9 hours' length but was not boring at all! Though the content was not more than a few quotes, a little bit of a theoretical help from Baig, and many hours of presentations and then 3 Role Playing activities.

From a research from Carnegie and Stanford students, Baig shared a fact that 15% of the jobs are found through Technical skills of the vacancy, and 85% through the communication skills. (That's something I knew about already.) Also, mis-understandings in strong relationship (especially in Pakistan) is usually due to the assumptive-reactive nature (of usually men as said by Baig - I think I agree). I would try to get hold of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus in a few months - to read.

Body language is something Baig insisted upon a lot! Fidgeting of hands, moving hands over face or other body parts randonly, pointing fingers, or standing while having arms cross folded and such things are something he disapproved of in an extreme tone! (It is deadly!) Things that he was teaching were pretty simple in theroy - but believe me, even practising it alone in front of mirror is so tough - that you would be amazed by such a weak level of self-control in yourself!
Also, our brains think at 600 - 800 words-per-minute (wpm) whereas an average human can speak about 150 - 180 wpm. Now, we need to efficiently summarize those 600 - 800 words into 150 - 180 words with the right selection of words so that we communicate exactly what we want to!

Enough of the theories - The first candidate to present himself at the podium was myself - and being suddenly called upon I got a little bit nervous (believe me, even if you are up to speak in front of 2 people - it will happen to you - and there were about 30!). Things that I had in my mind came in the form of words that were not really mine - which means my words were not 100% controlled (something that I have been trying to practise: mental energy control - will blog about it some later time inshaAllah). Later on, I was follwed by the rest of the whole team. Some were good, some were not. The best part about the feedback provided by the team and Baig was that Baig worked upon to create such a strong positive environment that no one probably was taking anything defensively - everyone seemed to learn where he made the mistake! This was something that is rarely seen in such sessions.

There was humour as well (yes - I had lots and lots of tears in my eyes and a bad tummy-ache after the sentence by Ahmed Zia, "Is there any chance of opportunity?" Hahahaha!! That was way too funny!! No details to be posted here though!)

It was a wonderful day overall. Listening to people really made me realize more about things that I lack. I anticipate such sessions in the future more often.

I left at about 7:30 pm, dropped Murad Ali @ University Road near NED, and then drove near home at Safoora Goth to have a good dinner with Fawwad at Sindh Green Hotel (I have previously blogged about another I had with my uncle here last month). It was a day full of great learnings!

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