Consider this scenario: You’re a final year MBA student attending an important networking session organized by potential recruiters from a company you’re aspiring to join soon. You prepare yourself, carry your business cards, dress your best and attend the networking session only to find out that there are over 50 other peers at the event who are also vying for the same two minutes of face-time with the recruiters and eventually the job you are aspiring for. How do you make a lasting impression on the recruiter when it’s your turn?
Sounds familiar? Haven’t we all gone through these kinds of social, critical moments when we don’t know what to do? Those awkward pauses in business conversations when we wished we had said something? Or those countless business meetings or lunches when we missed an opportunity to make our points effectively and regretted later?
This is the kind of stuff that most MBA programmes don’t teach us – and we’re being told that either we know it or we don’t –or we cannot learn it. Known as management communications, it is the communications skill that is linked to almost all outcomes we desire from an MBA degree – getting that first job, making an impact in a new job, influencing negotiations, becoming an influential leader and achieving our goals. Yet, how many of the top global MBA programmes have management communications as a part of core curriculum?
NUS Business School launched a course in 2012, as a part of NUS MBA programme, which addresses this specific need: Management Communications (MC) Module, a week-long course, which immerses NUS MBA students in various learning activities to help them become influential leaders. MC Module is a unique experiential learning program custom-designed for NUS Business School by LinHart Group, a leadership services firm specializing in counseling CEOs, Boards, owners and senior executives to help tackle their leadership and organizational challenges. The course aims to help students become influential leaders by focusing on new principles and ways of looking at business leadership. Through various group and individual class activities, the participants are pushed outside their comfort zones, and asked to grapple with situations far from their experiences. The unique format of the course includes mock networking sessions, role plays, team exercises and round table discussions.
Mr Hsieh Tsun Yan, the Provost Chair Professor of Management at NUS Business School, and Founder and Lead Counselor of LinHart Group, shared his thoughts to NUS MBA students about the MC module and how to influence behavioural change through communication:
Today marks the start of this week-long MC Module at NUS Business School. Stay tuned if you are interested to find out more as we will share views of a participant of this course. So that the next time you’re thrown in socially or professionally awkward situations, you are better equipped to create a lasting positive impression.