The annual Industry Academia Expert Lecture Week organized by the Centre of Management and Humanities (CMH) under the aegis of Punjab Engineering College (PEC), Chandigarh touched its fourth day on September 14, 2023, with a distinct event: A panel discussion on “Communication Strategies for Changing Times”.
The panel consisted of accomplished experts and thought leaders in the field of communication, representing diverse perspectives and backgrounds, and was moderated by Dr. Jaidev Bishnoi a faculty at CMH. Representing the area of public relations was Ms. Renuka Salwan (Former Director, Public Relations at the Bureau of Indian Standards, also Former Director Public Relations, Panjab University Chandigarh); Consulting and Human Resources was Mr. Abhishek Gupta (Vice President-Chandigarh Management Association, Chandigarh, Associate Director –Consulting LTIMindtree), and corporate training field was Mr. Manish Sharma (Founder and CEO, Mansha Training & Development Consultants, Chandigarh).
A floral welcome by Dr. Anju Singla, Head, CMH commenced the event. Sharing their views on the topic, Ms. Renuka Salwan highlighted effective communication as a game changer. She mentioned that with the information explosion and the current digital highway; it is a must to pitch for oneself proficiently. Students need to embark on a path of self-development and understand the importance of networking as future professionals. Associating with a professional body, identifying a mentor, and attending professional events are some ways of augmenting a professional network and forums to personally brand yourself. Ms. Salwan also emphasized the importance of empathy in communication.
Mr. Abhishek Gupta shared some novel trends in recruitment like gamification, using video resumes and multimedia to filter potential candidates, and how students can devise communication strategies in all forms of communication oral, written, and non-verbal to be employable. Technology today has not only made professional communication easier but also increased access across all tiers of an organization. Hence, he focused that merely the knowledge of language is not significant in communication, nor is speaking up all the time. What is essential is speaking at the right time with notable and valid contributions as there may be no re-takes. Surprising as it may seem, Mr. Gupta shared that silence can be a part of communication too!
The interaction with Mr. Manish Sharma started on a vibrant note with his personal story emphasizing that rejection is not permanent but the start of something new. Perspectives are important and how a leader communicates and shares these are critical. Mr. Sharma talked about the 3 Cs of communication: Content – what needs to be communicated, Channels – how it reaches its targeted audience, and Consistency – continuous and coherent, and shared practical tips about how to improve communication skills. He shared how leaders can communicate to motivate their teams.
The discussion enthralled the entire hall packed with more than 300 students across all semesters of B. Tech, M. Tech and Ph.D. programs. With numerous questions and answers, the panel discussion concluded with Head, CMH urged the students to take inputs from today’s session and plan a path of upskilling for each one of them.