Good Communicative Skills Crucial to Success of an Entrepreneur’s Business Goals
A Linguist cum fashion designer, Atinuke Olutoye, has drawn a nexus between the study of languages, communication and the business of fashion, noting that the competitive advantage gained through entrepreneurship cannot be leveraged without effective communicative skills.
Olutoye, while speaking at the Town and Gown Seminar of the Department of Languages, Covenant University, on the theme ‘The Heart of the Entrepreneur: From Language to the Fashion World’,noted that whatever strategy the entrepreneur chose to adopt in pursuing his goal, it involved the use of language.
According to her, language being an art was used to convey human emotions, thoughts, references, dimensions of life and culture, and as such could be said to undoubtedly be the lifeblood of entrepreneurship. “Because of its power to sustain or erode relationships, the acquisition of effective linguistic skills has become a necessity for the entrepreneur who wants to succeed in the business of fashion designing, as it is the art of applying design, aesthetics and natural beauty to clothing and its accessories,” she asserted.
She noted that accomplishment in entrepreneurship hinged on one’s readiness and ability to effectively translate a communication brief into anticipated results, and it was expected that the entrepreneur must rely heavily on his communicative competence to relate with individuals on reaching an agreement with a view of solving problems. She opined that good communicative skills was, therefore, a valuable asset that enabled the entrepreneur establish and disseminate the goals of his enterprise in the most effective and efficient way possible.
Olutoye, who holds both Bachelor and Master Degrees in Linguistic and English, with a Diploma in Fashion Design to boot, noted that graduates of English Language would naturally be appealing to a wide range of audiences, and the prevalent use of the English Language for communication was to a large extent reshaping many aspects of the world’s economy, thus placing them in a relative advantageous position to do well as entrepreneurs.
In establishing the parallel between language and fashion, Olutoye said while both terms were forms of art, language was for communication and fashion design could be said to depict a form of language, because messages could be passed through pieces of clothing materials.“The composition of materials used to create a garment as well as the visual composition of these materials allows different finished designs to communicate specific meaning semantically, and fabrics also convey meaning through colour variations and patterns,” she added.
Olutoye noted that fashion designing was primarily influenced by cultural and social attitudes and had varied over time and place. This aspect of fashion design, according to her, was a form of art dedicated to the creation of clothing, which must be pursued with the consciousness that it was continuously evolving over time, and this made it a very important every aspect of human life.
She challenged students of Language Department not to be satisfied with passing through the programme for the sake of certification only, as that alone will not guarantee them success in the labour market, but they must be ready to take advantage and seize the plethora of opportunities available to maximize their potentials beyond the boundary of languages to arts in general.