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Guest Blog: Amil and his anti-soft skills learners

In this guest blog from a current TDCI participant, Amil expands on something he wrote about as part of one the unit submissions which caught our attention. Could it be truly the case that some business English learners see no relevance in practising interpersonal communication skills? Apparently, yes! A big thanks to Amil for taking the time to share his thoughts here.

The "I Don't Need Communication Skills" mindset and How to Address It

A few years ago, I received a reply to one of my DMs and it read “I don’t need communication skills, bro”. I had reached out to an IT professional offering some educational content I was sharing on LinkedIn.


I’ve also spoken with many professionals who don’t believe that we should learn or improve soft skills to get things done.


One of my best friends, a Team Leader, mentioned, “Communication skills don’t work. If you need to get the job done, sometimes we have to yell and shout. It’s part of the job.”


So, where are these misconceptions coming from? I have a few ideas:


  1. Maybe they are just doing what was done to them. As they started their careers, they probably had to toughen it out in toxic environments.

  2. Perhaps they are extremely confident in their technical skills which have pushed their careers so far, making the idea of learning communication skills not so appealing.

  3. Or maybe they just don’t understand the difference between English proficiency and communication skills.


As BE trainers, it is our responsibility to address this attitude and emphasise the undeniable value of effective communication skills.


Firstly, we must highlight the importance of good communication skills. How can it help a professional succeed? Talk about how great communication skills could improve team collaboration, boost productivity, keep customers happy, persuade the management and sell your ideas, negotiate for more time or money and so on. Presenting real-life examples, challenges and case studies where poor communication skills could potentially lead to misunderstandings or business failures can exhibit the practical impacts of effective communication.


Furthermore, we must nurture a learning environment where the importance of communication is continuously reinforced. Before we teach a topic, ask them why that topic is relevant and elicit how it can help them get the results they want. Questions like “Why are we learning this?” or “How does this connect to real-world situations?” can help the trainees see the purpose behind the content.


Encourage self-reflection and feedback to help the trainees understand their communication strengths and areas for improvement. Keep them in mind when building a programme or a lesson. By creating opportunities to practise and refine these skills, we can address the “I don’t need communication skills” mindset but also provide them the tools to stand out in their professional field.


Have you come across the “I don’t need communication skills” mindset? How do you deal with it?

Let us know in the comments.

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