This is how the course was presented to the Executive Post Graduate Program (EPGP) at IIM-Bangalore.

Companies spend enormous amounts of money each year in soft skills training. Many have realized that in additional to core competencies, employees need to improve their Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EQ).

Consider this scenario: you are hosting a client dinner to initiate an important project or deal. Executives from Europe and the U.S. have flown in. You have hired a private dining room at a luxury hotel. Food and wine are in place. There will be no business presentation; no obvious talk of deals. Instead, it is just a meeting of minds to see if it can lead to a merging of organizations. What will you say? How will you connect with the executives from the other firm? This course will equip you for that.

Business involves trust. Trust comes when you connect with the other person. Connection comes when you discover common interests in music, art, design, travel, or sports; when you speak the same language. Connection is about subliminal judgments; about tone, manner and speech. As you climb the corporate ladder, such interpersonal skills may prove to be just as important as the core competencies required for your job. This is what executives call schmoozing. This course will teach you how to schmooze. Each module will address non-business areas such as art, design, food and wine. If your client is an art collector, you will know the basics of art. If your client is into wine, you can talk to him about his Bordeaux wine cellar. If he is from Louis Vuitton, you can tell him your own favorite designers.

Students will be graded at the end of the term based on their knowledge of these topics.

Instructor: Shoba Narayan

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