Saturday, November 29, 2008

Building communication bridges through better Vocabulary

For a while now, i have been thinking to start a Testing Thoughts series in my blog. Basically the thoughts that are an outcome of the day-to-day observations of seeing Software testing at in action. The inspiration of this is primarily to share the learnings arising from the myriad of testing activities and challenges from day-to-day life. True to the precept- "Begin with the end in mind", the end goal that i foresee with this series is to capture the imagination of anyone who reads this and initiate a thought process that may be unique or may be dormant in your minds or may be in sync with your thoughts. I am trying to keep the format - Simple and crisp.

Here's to a new beginning-
When was the last time you put an conscious effort to learn a new word in your business language ? Vocabulary enhancement is something we do as a kids quite actively but as the time passes the knack to learn new words somehow reduces as we get into our cozy comfort zones. According to a research- "The average student learns about 3,000 words per year in the early school years -- that's 8 words per day (Baumann & Kameenui, 1991; Beck & McKeown, 1991; Graves, 1986)". Do you think we match this or even half or one fourth of this in our day-to-day lives as business people or employees ?
Why am i bringing the point of Vocabulary building in my blog ? One prime reason is that Communication (be it verbal or written), plays a vital role in your success in Software Testing Profession. Be it your conversation with developer, fellow testers, offshore teams, clients, customers etc. , one thing that sets most of the testers apart from others is effective communication. And sound Vocabulary acts as a building block to effective communication. How often have you felt at loss of words to explain your thoughts in business language and preferred to stay quiet or wished that you could explain the matter in your native language ?
Isn’t it the time one starts rating communication skills also (in addition to other factors such as clarity, fluidity etc.) on number of new words learnt and implemented in day-to-day communication ?

Do you agree with me or differ with me ? Do share your thoughts...

Keep testing creatively!


Pradeep Soundararajan said...

As kids we enjoyed learning anything and everything, no matter if someone taking care of us considered it good or bad. As kids, I don't think most of us never bothered about money, cost and all that stuff.

As we thought we became adults, we started setting rules to our brain to learn only things that we thought will make us make money. Hence, restricting the learning process we are capable of.

Once we start earning handsome money, most of us sub consciously say, "Hey, I am already doing good, why do I need to go and spend time learning. Its time for fun"

In my little IT experience, I have never seen any of my colleague who realized they need to improve communication skills really doing it. Nothing affected them and they were promoted and made good money. So, why burn something when I can move without it?

If a child is able to carry forward its curiosity when it becomes an adult and doesn't fall into a trap of money for learning then I think we would be better not just with our vocabulary but with the way we live our lives.

Anuj Magazine said...

Hi Pradeep,
One the the Peter Drucker's quotes beautifully summs up the essence of your comments-

We now accept the fact that learning is a lifelong process of keeping abreast of change. And the most pressing task is to teach people how to learn.