Communication Skills

An Essential Guide to Giving Feedback

Description: The performance of any business depends upon the performance of everyone within the organization. To ensure that all staff are meeting their potential it is essential that there is a culture which enables feedback to be given and received. This course enables you to become familiar with the key aspects of giving candid, constructive feedback about performance. The purpose of this course is to enable you to enhance your skills in giving feedback. The course starts by exploring the nature of feedback, and it then develops a practical approach to the feedback process. Giving feedback is not always straightforward however, and so the final part of this course looks at barriers to giving feedback and strategies for dealing with situations where your feedback is challenged. Duration: 2.5

Avoiding Errors in Usage and Punctuation

Description: Have you ever received an e-mail so poorly worded that you hit the delete button before you even finished reading the message? Have you ever opened a letter so confusing that you couldn’t understand what the author was trying to say? If so, you understand the frustration of receiving a badly written message. Are you afraid that you might have sent messages that have been discarded or misunderstood for similar reasons? If so, this course will help you to improve your basic usage and punctuation skills so that your messages are read and understood. Duration: 4.5

Avoiding Grammatical Errors in Business Writing

Description: Grammar: the very word strikes terror into the hearts of learners everywhere. For many people, it recalls the most difficult or most boring classes they can remember from childhood. Yet using correct grammar is one of the key skills for any business writer. Poor grammar skills interfere with communicating a clear message; moreover, they may suggest that the writer is careless and perhaps unprofessional. In this course, you will learn to recognize and repair the most common grammatical errors in sentence construction. Using correct grammar will help you to convey your information accurately and to represent yourself and your company as articulate and professional. Duration: 4.5

Communication Business Etiquette

Description: ‘How’s it going?’ Is this an appropriate greeting in today’s corporate workplace? How about telephone use? Is it always necessary to return phone calls? If so, how soon should you do it? Is e-mail the method of choice for communicating all your ideas, or is another way better? How important is your tone of voice when dealing with a customer? All these questions are a matter of etiquette. How you communicate–in person, over the phone, electronically, and with customers–has a direct effect on how people treat you, on whether you sell your idea or product, and on how quickly you advance in your career. In this course, you’ll learn the subtleties of communication etiquette in the world of business. Duration: 2.5 hours

Connecting and Communicating

Description: Believe it or not, you are a born negotiator. Every day you deal with people in some way. Basically, negotiation is a means of getting what you want from others. Unfortunately, other people don’t always respond in the way that you want them to and your desires may go unfulfilled. Have you ever found yourself in this situation, wondering what went wrong, why your appeal fell by the wayside? Dale Carnegie understood the complexity of human interaction when he said, ‘When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures of emotion.’ In this course, you will discover methods of emotionally connecting with people in ways that capture their attention and interest in you. You will be introduced to methods of building trust and rapport. You will also have the opportunity to develop critical negotiation skills in communication, such as active listening, reading body language, and applying power words to your conversations. Getting what you want from dealings with others depends on your ability to effectively connect and communicate. This course will lay the foundation for your growth in these areas. Duration: 2.0 hours

Crafting Deals

Description: ‘A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.’ Could Francis Bacon possibly have been wondering about how to make the most out of his dealings with other people when he wrote those words? Do you ever wonder about your own ability to create opportunities for yourself? Think of something that you really wanted in the past. It could be anything–a promotion at your workplace, a new car, or maybe winning an argument. Recall the situation. How did you approach it? Were you confident about winning? Was the outcome what you wanted? So often, situations don’t turn out in the desired way. In this course, you will explore ways to gain clarity and conviction about what you want and why you want it, as well as how to create opportunities to get it. You’ll have a chance to assess your values and beliefs about negotiating and examine how negotiating opportunities are connected to personal and professional growth and well-being. Duration: 2.5 hours

Delivering Your Message: Replaced

Description: So, the presentation is prepared and practiced. Great. But this means nothing to the audience. When you stand there in front of them, all that matters to them is what you look like and what you say. This course is about delivering your message, and the techniques you need to do this. First of all, you have to make a positive first impression on your audience members by how and where you stand, by your appearance, and how you look at them. Then, you must lead your audience through your message, referencing what is important through the language you use, and the physical techniques you employ. Finally, the course shows what is needed to make a presentation really memorable, the ‘wow’ factor that outstanding presenters have, and how to achieve it. Duration: 4.5

Difficult People in the Workplace Environment

Description: Do you grind your teeth in frustration each time you have to work closely with someone who drives you batty? Do you have to put up with difficult people at work on a regular basis? Has your physician told you that your blood pressure is at an all-time high? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, it’s probably time for you to learn to deal with difficult people at the office. This course will guide you in your journey to coping effectively with difficult people. You’ll learn step-by-step methods and processes to help you identify difficult people to cope and communicate with them. With the help of this course, you’ll no longer have to be frustrated or intimidated by difficult people. Duration: 3.0 hours

E-mail and Organizational Communication

Description: E-mail is much more than sending information back and forth. This communication tool can change your entire organization. E-mail can affect how you communicate, where you work, what you do and even when you do it. This course will help you harness the power of e-mail and show you ways to optimize your e-mail use for maximum productivity and success. Duration: 2.5

Effectively Communicating in Teams

Description: Teams rely on the participation, input, and opinions of all team participants. Learning to speak up and encouraging others to open up are important to a team’s communication. Giving and receiving feedback gracefully is another critical part of communicating with team members. Without effective feedback, little will be accomplished. Effective team communication skills don’t just happen. In this course, you’ll learn ways to communicate productively and nonjudgmentally, to listen effectively and assert yourself, and to provide and receive constructive feedback. Duration: 3.0

Enhancing Listening Skills

Description: Have you ever been taken by surprise by an unexpected deadline? Have you ever left a meeting unsure about what was decided? Have you ever asked a supervisor for advice, only to later forget what your supervisor told you? You can avoid problems like these by using effective listening skills. Effective listening helps you to know what’s going on in your organization, get cooperation from your co-workers, solve problems, and be successful in your work. However, most people don’t listen very well. This course will help you to improve your ability to listen to others. You will learn the skills you need to understand what people say, read their unconscious nonverbal messages, and get others to want to listen to you. You also learn how to apply these skills in a variety of business situations such as interviews, business meetings, and negotiations. Duration: 2.0 hours

Essentials of Electronic Communication

Description: Everyone seems to be using e-mail lately–family members keeping in touch, university students submitting assignments, companies offering products for sale, and office workers carrying out their daily business tasks. Most e-mail users can improve their e-mail skills by learning more about the basic features and potentials of e-mail. Any business person will benefit from developing an understanding of e-mail essentials. Duration: 1.5

Etiquette at the Business Meeting

Description: ‘Sleep not when others speak, sit not when others stand, speak not when you should hold your peace, walk not on when others stop.’ Was George Washington referring to the etiquette required at the business meeting? Indeed, such meetings have their own set of rules. Did you know that it’s acceptable to use the telephone to invite people to a small, informal meeting but that written invitations are considered proper for all formal meetings? Did you realize that at a business lunch, small talk should be reserved for the period before the food has been ordered? Such is the nature of etiquette at the business meeting. In this course, you’ll learn the proper conduct to display during both formal and informal meetings, negotiations, and entertainments. Duration: 3.0 hours

Getting Results by Building Relationships

Description: You are not the boss. You’ve been called ‘peer,’ ‘esteemed colleague,’ ‘invaluable staff member,’ and ‘friend,’ but no one’s even come close to calling you ‘boss.’ When you stop to think about it, you realize you have no real authority whatsoever. In fact, you have much more power than you think, even if you are on the bottom rung of the corporate ladder. As Jack London said, ‘Life is not always a matter of being dealt a winning hand, but sometimes, of playing a poor hand well.’ In the corporate world, when it comes to getting results when you have no authority, it is imperative that you play your best hand. In this course, you’ll learn how. Duration: 2.0 hours

Handling Conflict

Description: No one can complete a working career without experiencing conflict, so it is essential for you to handle this conflict in the most effective way. To handle conflict well, you need to build a repertoire of techniques. These techniques require you to behave differently from your natural instincts at times. Therefore, a good starting point is to establish what your instinctive approaches to conflict are, and where these attitudes stem from. This will enable you to decide on a range of different approaches to conflict, based on a spectrum that goes from being only concerned about your own needs, to only being concerned about other people’s needs. This spectrum gives rise to five possible strategies for dealing with conflict. Whatever strategy you apply, some core techniques will make you more effective. These involve three main actions: confronting the conflict, communicating with the other party, and determining an acceptable outcome. Sometimes, the conflict in the workplace just surrounds you, even though you are not involved directly. You then have to learn how to avoid taking sides, or becoming a scapegoat. Duration: 3.5 hours

Interpersonal Communications: The Process

Description: It is almost impossible to be productive in today’s business environment without being an effective communicator. This is particularly true if achievement of your goals depends on your ability to influence others. You need to be able to communicate your ideas, instructions, thoughts, and feelings accurately. This is not as easy as it may seem, and ineffective communication is often at the core of a high proportion of the errors, misunderstandings, and conflicts that occur in the workplace. This course is designed to give you an understanding of the prime causes of poor communication, and, more importantly, the skills required to minimize their impact. Duration: 3.0 hours

Leadership Communication Skills

Description: In this course, you will learn what the requirements of leadership are, how to communicate your suitability for the role, and how to communicate with those you lead. Leadership is not the same as management. Unlike management, leadership does not require formal recognition of authority. However, it does place other requirements on the person assuming the leadership role. Before people will follow, they need to be reassured that their leader is deserving of both their trust and their confidence. Good relationships are paramount, and communication is the prime tool for building those relationships. Once you have been accepted as the leader, good communication will ensure that objectives are agreed upon, understood, and achieved. Duration: 3.5 hours

Listening Basics

Description: Do you sometimes feel like you are not getting the whole message when someone talks to you? If you have problems receiving information that is verbally communicated, this is the course for you. This course will familiarize you with the communication and listening processes, and how listening functions within communication. You will discover the factors and variables that influence communication and listening and learn strategies to overcome weak listening skills. You will then apply these skills to business-based examples. Knowing the basic communication and listening processes will make you aware of where communication can be adversely affected. Duration: 1.0 hours

Listening to Comprehend

Description: Do you need to better understand the basic meaning of a conversation or presentation? If you need to be able to identify what is said to you in a more effective manner, then this course is for you. This course teaches you how to comprehend verbal and visual messages to maximize your understanding of others. Because this course teaches listening skills, it is important to have your audio turned on for certain sections. In some instances, the text that is spoken will display in the caption text box. In these case, the important feature is not what is said, but how it is said. In these sections, it would be most effective for you to turn off the captions to get the full effect of the audio. In other instances, audio is presented without accompanying text. To complete these sections, you must have your audio turned on. Duration: 4.0 hours

Making Telephone Calls Count

Description: Whether you handle one call a day, or dozens, you have the power to make every call count. Is the service you deliver to your customers over the telephone merely satisfactory, or is it superior? When challenges present themselves, how well do you handle yourself? What do your actions say about your company? You may think telephone interactions are all simple and straightforward. The customer talks. You listen. But how well do you listen on the telephone? Are you missing key opportunities to address the caller’s needs? Does the caller feel like she has really been “heard” and understood? By fine-tuning your listening skills, you’ll be able to deliver truly superior customer service. Different customers have different communication styles. By tuning into each customer’s communication style and responding appropriately, you’ll make stronger connections and build better rapport. Duration: 3.5

Presentation Resources Available to You: Replaced

Description: This course is about making effective use of resources that can take the pressure off you–visual aids, questions, and making a team presentation. Visual aids are overused, and presenters are overdependent on them. You need to know what visuals are available to you, and be able to determine which one suits a particular need. You need to know what makes a successful visual. Finally, you need to be able to use PowerPoint and other software packages appropriately, with a clear idea of what they can do. Some presenters are afraid of questions from the audience because they seem to represent a loss of control. This course shows you that questions are positive opportunities to be grasped eagerly: they are a way of deepening your communication with the audience. But there are techniques to handling questions successfully, and they need to be learned and practiced. Duration: 5.0

Presenting to Succeed: Replaced

Description: This content is replaced by the course “Presenting Successfully” , There are a number of basic types of presentations, but all presentations have four things in common: a presenter, an audience, a venue, and a message. This course concentrates on showing how each of these vital elements has to be taken into account when preparing a presentation. Presenting is a skill that needs to be learned and practiced, starting with how you prepare, and you will be shown a simple but powerful method for selecting the right content, and then structuring it. Controlling nerves is an important part of preparing, and this course helps you to remove anxieties in the presentation environment by making sure that the venue is set up correctly, and ensuring that you rehearse appropriately. Duration: 4.5

Resolving Conflict with Communication Skills

Description: Although, through the use of good communication skills, conflict in the workplace can be minimized, it can’t be eradicated entirely. On the occasions when disharmony inevitably arises, there is a need for a different set of communication skills–those of negotiation, mediation, or arbitration. This course will give you an understanding of the various causes and outcomes of conflict, together with a practical demonstration of the styles and communication involved in the negotiated resolution of one to one conflict. You will also learn how to act as a third party mediator or arbitrator in situations where the parties concerned seem unable to resolve the dispute unaided. Duration: 3.0 hours

Results and Teamwork without Authority

Description: When it comes to being a member of a team, what role do you think you should play? Legendary Alabama football coach Bear Bryant said, ‘ In order to have a winner, the team must have a feeling of unity; every player must put the team first–ahead of personal glory.’ Yet, according to general George S. Patton Jr., ‘If everyone is thinking alike then somebody isn’t thinking.’ When it comes to getting results without authority on your team, it’s necessary to do both. In this course, you’ll learn how to achieve results by playing the game, and you’ll learn how to assert yourself. Duration: 2.5 hours

Standard Business Etiquette

Description: The rules of proper business etiquette are changing. In many corporations, middle management and the concept of seniority are being replaced by a flat organizational structure and intense competition. Such an environment makes the need for appropriate behavior especially crucial, particularly if you’re looking to advance your career. How do you maintain your private ‘space’ when you sit in one of a dozen cubicles? How should you address your peers and superiors, and what’s the proper attire for today’s corporate culture? In this course, you’ll learn how to conduct yourself in the standard business environment with poise and confidence. Duration: 2.5 hours

Team Conflict: The Seeds of Dissent

Description: Teams are a fact of corporate life. Think about all the team buzzwords. There are cross-functional teams, self-directed teams, union teams, functional teams, total quality teams, and project teams–not to mention the concept of “The Dream Team.” If there’s anything that’s predictable about these high-powered teams, it’s the inevitability of conflict. Many teams fail to recognize that there’s power in conflict. Healthy dissent actually breeds team success, and that’s the essence of this course. What do you need to know about the roots of conflict and team dynamics to help cultivate a healthy mindset about conflict? At the end of this course, you’ll have the skills needed to identify the stages of conflict, the awareness of group dynamics that can cripple team effectiveness, and how to build a positive approach to conflict at the time your team is launched. Duration: 3.5

The Individual’s Role in a Team

Description: You can’t have a team without first having a collection of individuals. But a team is more than just the sum of its parts. Effective team members go beyond themselves and their personal desires and goals. If you want to be an effective team member, your challenge is to put the team first–which means maximizing your contributions to help the team accomplish its purpose. In this course, you’ll learn strategies and techniques to help you become an effective and valued member of your team. First you’ll explore ways for adopting a positive approach to being on a team. Then you’ll learn strategies that will help you create a successful team experience for everyone on the team, including yourself. Duration: 3.5

The Process of Negotiation

Description: Let us never fear to negotiate. But let us never negotiate out of fear.’ What do you think John F. Kennedy was thinking about when he spoke these words? Have you ever felt fearful while negotiating? Negotiating is unavoidable. It is a natural part of life, like the emotion of fear. Understanding that fear is a form of stress can help explain why it can crop up during the negotiation process if you are unprepared. Feelings of uncertainty can wreak havoc with any deal. The intent of this course is to prepare you to negotiate from a place of strength, not fear. The process and stages of negotiation are explained in a step by step, practical way. Investigator, presenter, bargain-hunter, and winner–you’ll explore how to assume each of these roles as you learn about the essential aspects of what you need to know and do before, during, and following negotiation. From the beginning, you’ll discover how to ask for what you want and how it is possible to achieve a win-win solution in any negotiation situation. Duration: 2.0 hours

Understanding Writing Mechanics

Description: One of the biggest challenges in writing is to feel confident about appropriately applying the mechanics of writing. How do you know what should or shouldn’t be capitalized? When is it appropriate to abbreviate words, names, places, and business terms? How do you know when to spell out a number or when to use a figure? How can you get past those troublesome words that are commonly misspelled? This course gives you the answers. You’ll explore the rules of capitalization and abbreviations. You’ll learn some of the special situations that influence how numbers are used, and you’ll get tips and techniques to make spelling troublesome words easier. Your creativity will be enhanced when you’re confident about writing mechanics. Duration: 2.0

Workplace Communication Skills

Description: Poor communication is often blamed for discord, errors, and misunderstandings in the workplace. In fact, and more correctly, poor communication of intent causes these problems. They occur when people are unwilling to say exactly what they mean, or what they want. They also occur when there is a reluctance or an inability to get clarification of another person’s intent. These situations can be avoided by using certain communication techniques to establish intent, both other people’s intent, and your own. This course covers the three prime strategies that will enable you to do this. By speaking assertively, you can make your intentions clear, and in this course you will have the opportunity to practice several assertive communication techniques. Similarly, the course will demonstrate how to give constructive criticism on the behavior of others, and how to receive criticism on your own behavior positively. Finally, the course covers the skill of questioning. You will learn how to use questions in a non-threatening way to direct or encourage a conversation, to uncover hidden feelings or motives, and to persuade. Effective questioning is one of the most valuable communication skills of all. Duration: 3.0 hours

Writing with Intention

Description: Whether you’re preparing a brief e-mail response, a business letter, a performance review, a multi-page proposal, or a presentation to a prime customer, you know that having a job means having to write. But if you’re not a trained writer, how do you begin? The writing process actually starts before you pick up a pen or place your fingers on a keyboard. It begins with defining what you are writing, for whom you are writing, why you are writing, and which writing approach to use. “Writing with Intention” addresses these defining matters, which you need to consider every time you sit down to write. The course includes lessons on how to link your writing to its purpose, how to modify your writing for different readers and audiences, and how to approach your content in a manner that supports the message type. In this course, business writing is taught as a collection of easy skill sets, not as a strained creative exercise. The lessons flexibly encompass almost any kind of business writing you may be required to perform on the job. No matter what your level of writing skill, if you write at work, you can benefit from this practical writing course. Duration: 4.0