Beyond Soft Skills : A reader to leader book

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Beyond Soft Skills (Book Cover)

Reviewed by  Nasima Parveen Aman

In today’s competitive world, one needs to possess myriad qualities, in addition to academic attainments, to succeed in life. Those who can afford, they go for life skills coaching and personality development classes conducted by experts in the field. But what about so many others who cannot manage to enrol in such courses for various reasons such as want of funds or because they are living in remote areas where such facilities are not available. Now we have a book to take care of their concerns.

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The pan-India social launch of Beyond Soft Skills was done in the Gorai-Borivali slums of Mumbai in Dec 2021 during which free copies of the book were gifted to slum children preparing for competitive examinations.

We are living at a time when one’s communication skills make all the difference between success and low-esteem. The domain of soft skills, or for that matter, mastering or honing the art of interacting effectively and harmoniously with other stakeholders in the society, has perhaps become the most sought-after capability. Beyond Soft Skills is in this regard an indispensable handbook containing 120 invaluable essays by author, motivational speaker, and PR consultant, Nurul Islam Laskar.

Nasima Parveen Aman,reviewer of the book.

‘Beyond Soft Skills’ has a number of articles dealing with the importance of character, courtesy, integrity, and patience which undoubtedly would add to the strength of any youngster. The articles dealing with etiquette on the telephone, on the dining table, in the restaurant, and even in the washroom should open our eyes to minute details that would set us a class apart. Similarly, the pieces that depict the importance of smile, handshakes, appreciation, and good conversational skills, if understood and practised, will lift our personality to great heights.

The chapters on office etiquette, the importance of teamwork, managing people, and gender sensitivity, will surely instil in the stakeholders, valuable guidance, and resultantly, improve the ambience of the workplace. In addition, there are valuable sections in the book that delve into skilful driving practice, the need for forming a queue, the do’s and don’ts during a visit to the hospital, or the etiquette to be observed while in a movie theatre. One will also find more articles on similar lines. These topics will undoubtedly go a long way in developing citizens with appropriate civic sense and concern for fellow human beings. Today, moral science is not taught in most educational institutions, unlike in the past. The essays on forgiveness, the power of prayer, and filial love will undoubtedly evoke these values in the heart of every reader.

We come across all kinds of situations in life in which we have to express appreciation, congratulate people, send condolences, or exchange gifts. Even the best practices in doing these have been dealt with in this book. The writer’s selection of topics is worthy of appreciation, his language is lucid, and every piece is concise and to the point.

When asked about what inspired him to write this book, the veteran PR man poured his heart out in a frank tête-à-tête: “The most important reason for which I decided to embark upon this project is that I keep getting invitations from a large number of universities, colleges, and institutions of higher education and even corporate houses to conduct sessions on a range of topics, starting from communication to leadership skills, and from public relations to personality development. But it is physically not possible for me accept or respond to all such requests. So, I was convinced that if I put all my thoughts in a book, that could reach far and wide. So, Beyond Soft Skills was born.”

The author took about two and a half years to complete writing this book, and those years were full of their own ups and downs. In author’s own words, “When I started writing this book, the pandemic happened. This put a lot of my plans topsy turvy. The writing schedules were affected, so also the smooth functioning of life and affairs. My travel plans were upset. My finances went for a spin. I was affected by the pandemic like anybody else in the world. But the pandemic had a brighter side too, as far as my book and I are concerned. It prompted me to add quite a few additional articles on how to combat many of the problems created by the pandemic!”

Men, women, children, adults, and even senior citizens – all will have a lot to take back home from this unique book. There are practical and useful suggestions for people from all walks of life – students, professionals, entrepreneurs, corporate executives, and even housewives – in its various chapters. This crisp little book, spread over 181 pages, and containing 13 chapters, and 120 essays, is the accumulated wisdom of a person who is deeply involved in community empowerment. This book would make an ideal gift to youngsters who are preparing for competitive examinations, to be given as prizes in competitions organised by educational institutions, a valuable addition for all libraries. The book is available over a range of online platforms including Amazon, Flipkart, & Bluerose.

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Nasima Parveen Aman is an MBA with specialisation in HR & Marketing, is an active member of SoNEI, a leading charitable trust of North East India. In her BBA final exam from Gauhati University, she was a rank holder. She is adept in event management and fond of reading, book blogging, and high-altitude trekking.

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