In an earlier post, I had referred to the website www.lay-off.org . To be honest, when I read the posts I find it hard to sympathise with the writers. I can understand their angst and anger at being unemployed. Unfortunately their communication skills are so poor that their grievance lacks credibility.

Wrong grammar and syntax together with poor tone combine to present a picture of immaturity and incompetence. Behaviours, unwelcome in the workplace even at the best of times. That they were hired at all reflects poorly on their former employers.

The conventional wisdom on communication skills, particularly in India, is that it is optional rather than essential. What many do not see is how vital these skills are in building credibility, creating goodwill and influencing people. At school, in college and in the workplace the focus is on quantitative rather than verbal skills. And yet study after study has shown that it is the latter which determines career progress. Perhaps the current hard times will encourage a new appreciation for this much neglected skill.

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