Women Lines proudly welcomes Sindu Sreebhavan , the founder of Zettabyte Minds Pte. Ltd. and the editor of The Kidz Parade Edutainment magazine, as guest writer for Womenlines.in this article Sindu is reflecting upon the importance of empowering kids with strong communication skills to succeed in life-
The world has changed and it continues to change. We have moved from Industrial economy to information economy to knowledge economy to now the data economy.
A recent study of over 1500 CEOs by IBM reveals that companies look for candidates who are communicative, creative, collaborative and flexible. Is the current education system preparing today’s children for these needs? Not enough.
In our classrooms, kids do learn a lot, but they do not master what employers are looking for. It is disappointing to see that effective communication, creativity and collaboration are not integral parts of the curriculum.
For instance, consider the case of communication.
Is our education system focused on building this essential skill in our children?
If communication skills are essential for landing a career, why is it not given the systematic approach that it deserves?
How can you ensure that your child is not left behind?
When it comes to communication, there is verbal communication, non-verbal communication and written communication. This article aims to highlight the top 3 myths, some insights and actionable suggestions on verbal communication.
Top 3 Myths of verbal communication
There are several myths about verbal communication most parents are not aware of.
1. “That child is a good communicator” just because he/she talks a lot.
Nothing can be farther from the truth. Talking a lot doesn’t mean effective communication.
2. “My child is a horrible communicator” since he/she doesn’t talk much.
The first rule of communication is that ‘lot’ does not mean ‘effective’. In this knowledge economy, people do not have the time and patience to listen and understand. Our busy lives have significantly reduced our attention spans. As a whole, we listen less than we used to. So, if your child is able to speak effectively and concisely within a short time, he/she is a winner. The important words here are ‘effective’, ‘effective’ and ‘effective’.
3. “Let them focus on academics now, communication can come later.”
It is true that your child can pick up communication skills at any stage in his/her life. However, the longer you procrastinate it, your child is losing out on opportunities. Many people lose out on opportunities at school, at internships, at university admission interviews, job interviews and many other important junctions in their lives just because they lack the power to persuade and convince others. Communication is a life skill that requires regular practice. When you procrastinate it, your child is losing the window of opportunity to make it a second nature. Lack of ability to communicate effectively invariably affects the confidence of the child. Imagine the boost in confidence and the increase in opportunities your child would get when he/she could convey their ideas better and persuade others.
How do you know whether your child needs help in effective communication?
As a parent, you are the best person to decide whether your child is in need of help in communication skills. You can figure out the need by observing the following areas.
1. Does your child find it difficult to convey ideas and persuade others?
2. Do people often ask your child to repeat what he/she says?
3. Do you notice your child losing out on opportunities since he/she is not expressing their viewpoints persuasively?
4. Does your child feel nervous when he/she speaks to others?
What can you do to help your child communicate effectively?
The first lessons of life skills often start at home. These are some tips you can use to cultivate your child’s communication skills at home.
1. Let your child know the importance of effective communication. Create awareness in your child that effective communication is an essential stimulator for his/her overall success in the future.
2. Let your child know when it comes to communication it is not the quantity but it is the quality that matters. It is not about how long they communicate, but how effectively they communicate.
3. How we communicate is as important as what topic we are communicating. Show real life examples and encourage your child to observe other people’s conversation styles to help him/her understand this.
4. Effective communication is a package of verbal and non-verbal communication. The listeners accept your child’s points based on how he/she connects with them using this package. Body language, gestures, movements, eye contact, tone, pace, voice projection etc. play a major part in this.
5. Encourage and provide opportunities for your child to communicate both inside and outside your home environment.
If you can equip your child with the ability to communicate effectively, that is probably the best gift you can give him/her.
About the author
Sindu Sreebhavan is the founder of Zettabyte Minds Pte. Ltd. and the editor of The Kidz Parade Edutainment magazine. She is passionate about providing opportunities for children to bring out their creative, innovative and academic confidence.The Kidz Parade organizes its highly successful workshops on public speaking, leadership, Design Thinking, creativity and innovation for children on a regular basis. The Kidz Parade also has a leadership-mentoring program called The Confidence Hub for children. You can find out more information on this at www.thekidzparade.com.