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Soft Skills and its significance for the students of North-east India.

Soft skills is a sociological term relating to a person's cluster of personality traits, social graces, communication, language, personal habits, friendliness, and optimism that characterize relationships with other people. Soft skills are character traits and interpersonal skills that characterize a person's relationships with other people. In the workplace, soft skills are considered a complement to hard skills, which refer to a person's knowledge and occupational skills. Sociologists may use the term soft skills to describe a person's "EQ" or "Emotional Intelligence Quotient," as opposed to "IQ" or "Intelligence Quotient." Soft Skills helps a person to excel and climb the ladder of success faster.

Soft skill is determinal for success and hence it is important that the students of North east India develop their soft skills properly. Northeast India is a typical example of a great education system where today we have modern institutes and colleges but in terms of overall quality of students produced maybe there is still some way to go. On an average Northeast India has one of the highest literacy rates in the country but still we seem to be lacking in terms of success that our people has achieved in various fields which brings us to the fact that why are we lacking behind and what  is the reason behind this. Is it because of the lack of soft skills or some other reason. There was this instance in IIM Indore where I had gone for a campus interview to recruit a few students. One of the students was from Manipur, brilliant in studies, good academics all throughout. But we still could not recruit him. And the reason was that he was a disaster in the interview. He could not sell himself to us and his people skills so important to do a job in the corporate were just not there. And there seemed to be a genuine lack of self confidence, which is again another critical area. Self confidence after all is the first step towards excellence. Yet again I remember in College in Pune, students from Northeast were not looked at as people with good communication and interpersonal skills. They were always considered to be “different.” In fact I still remember the first day when I introduced myself as being from Assam. They could not believe that this boy speaking in fluent English was from Assam. They wanted to know if my Dad was in the defence and were even more surprised when I told them that I have never been outside Assam minus the occasional tourist visit to places like Mumbai and Kolkatta. In retrospective, this actually perhaps spurred me on to achieve probably more that I even visualized. And this is what we all need to do, remove stereo typed perceptions about the Northeast and motivate ourselves to move forward. The onus is on us to show what we can do and that’s where the Soft Skills parts of it become so important. Unless we develop that part and raise our personality, we will never manage to take on people from all across.

Our people from Northeast India to be competitive in the modern age need to be more focused on grooming their personality through soft skills. A proper orientation and development of soft skills helps in self confidence, development of attitude and overall personality which helps a person to succeed and achieve their objectives in life. In life we need education and higher studies but to achieve success in our professions, the development of the whole person is important and that is possible only if we develop our soft skills. And let’s not be under the impression that this is something which we try and acquire when we are doing Management or at the time of post graduation. No, it starts at an early stage. Just as formal education starts early, we need to start ingraining soft skills in our personality from our early days. Soft Skills do not develop overnight. Experts can help us to understand and look at ways of developing soft skills but it is for us to practice them and ingrain it in our personality. And my request to my fellow northeastern people is that need to exert ourselves to succeed and be the best. I urge you to develop your soft skills to succeed. The author can be contacted for any thoughts or inputs required.

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Arindam Garg's picture

Arindam Garg, Associate Professor and Head, Department of Management, Rajiv Gandhi University, Arunachal Pradesh.

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