Having been associated with the selection of Officers in Coast Guard for over five years as an IO, I can say with confidence that good communication skills does play a role in selection of a candidate. Some may say that this is so obvious however , repeated attempts (sometimes 21 times) by candidates who lack basic communication skills, seem to suggest that importance of good communication skills is not clearly understood.
Power of Expression (POE) being just one of the 15 OLQs, low POE should normally not affect a candidates overall performance, However, problem arises because of low POE affecting other OLQs. No doubt, the assessors are past masters in separating chaff from the grain and ascertain the level of various OLQs to a great degree of accuracy however, the negative bias created by a candidates low POE certainly affects his other qualities to some extent. Theoretically it should not but practically it does.
Now let’s talk about candidates with fluent English not getting recommended in SSB time and again. The reasons for their non- selection can be attributed to lack of substance/content in his conversation and of course, his non-acceptability on the basis of other 14 OLQs.Here again the qualified assessors are able to penetrate the glossy surface and gauge the real depth with regard to various qualities, but generally the bias here is positive unlike the negative bias created in case of candidates with low POE.
In conclusion I would reemphasize on the need for all Defence aspirants to improve their communication skills so as to create that positive bias which would certainly enhance their chances of selection, and even if they are not recommended, their better communication skills will certainly stand them in good stead wherever they go.
Comdt(Retd) Alok Kumar Madhukar hails from a remote village in Bihar. His hard work coupled with his father’s passion for education facilitated his admission in Sainik School Tilaiya(SST) ,one of the premiere schools in Bihar( Now Jharkhand). It was in SST that a rustic village boy blossomed into a confident individual ready to take on the world. Commandant Madhukar joined Coast Guard in 1987 and left Service in2013 after a distinguished service of over 26 years. While in Service, he held several important appointments including the Command of ship and head of a state. In the last five years of his service he has been involved with Officers’ Selection in Coast Guard as a qualified Interviewing Officer. He also had a brief stint at SSB Bhopal as an Interviewer. He has been awarded with Tatrakshak Medal by the President of India for his meritorious Service.
About Author: Comdt (Retd) Alok Kumar Madhukar
Commandant Madhukar joined Coast Guard in 1987 and left Service in2013 after a distinguished service of over 26 years. While in Service, he held several important appointments including the Command of ship and head of a state. In the last five years of his service he has been involved with Officers’ Selection in Coast Guard as a qualified Interviewing Officer.