Course Outcomes

This interpersonal communication skills course will:

  • Provide participants with a thorough overview of the communication process.
  • Offer suggestions for improving listening skills.
  • Suggest language for communicating difficult or controversial information.
  • Outline steps for crafting clear and courteous email messages.

Course Overview

Interpersonal skills have long been recognized as essential to professional success, and many a career has stalled, faltered, or fallen apart thanks to a lack of communication skills. So why is it that some people seem to have the gift and some don’t? A few may have been born with it, but most have practiced and learned from mistakes. This interpersonal communication course is designed for those who want to hone their people skills and improve their ability to work with others.

During this highly interactive course, participants will identify their communication skills challenges, explore several models of communication, and discuss perception and its impact on understanding. We will also cover body language and other nonverbal cues, verbal communication, tone of voice, written communication, tactics for positioning messages, and strategies for dealing with miscommunication and misunderstanding.

Program Objectives

At this program’s conclusion, participants should be able to:

  • Explain why good communication skills are important.
  • Pinpoint what makes such skills hard to master.
  • Describe models of and methods for communication.
  • Understand how preconceptions and limited perceptions interfere with communication.
  • Define nonverbal communication.
  • Rephrase blunt phrases to prevent offensiveness.
  • Demonstrate the ability to craft professional email messages that are clear yet courteous.
  • Develop an action plan to improve communication skills.

The following outline highlights some of the course’s key learning points. As part of your training program, we will modify content as needed to meet your business objectives. Upon request, we will provide you with a copy of the participant materials prior to the session(s).

Workshop Outline

The Big Picture: Why and How We Communicate

This course begins with a discussion of our need to communicate. Participants will identify their individual communication strengths and challenges. We will then examine the features and categories of communication and various models for describing the communication process. 

Change Your Vantage Point: Seeing From a Different Angle

Sometimes communication breakdowns occur because we become so locked in to our own point of view that we fail to see other possibilities. There may be many more ways of understanding a situation that differ from our own. During this discussion, we will talk about problems with perception, development of multiple points of view, and methods for bypassing the same old ways of thinking about issues and people. 

From This Perspective: The Power of Nonverbal Communication

During the third segment of this course, we will explore the ways people communicate without uttering a word. Through practical exercises, participants will learn how body orientation, gestures, facial expressions, clothing, punctuality, personal distance, and touch influence how others perceive them. 

Adding Another Dimension: The Wonder of Words

Verbal communication includes not just what we say but how we deliver our comments. This part of the course begins with a discussion of how and why messages get misconstrued. Participants will engage in an exercise called “Rephrasing for Better Relationships” during which they will learn how to reword blunt phrases so that messages will be better received by those listening. The segment concludes with a discussion and exercise involving vocal tones and volume to determine which are appropriate for various situations. 

Faulty Impressions: Looking Beneath the Surface

This part of the program begins with an examination of the classic Johari Window tool that illustrates how partial or unrevealed information can compromise or prevent effective communication. Without bothering to look more closely or ask the right questions, people miss the opportunity to better understand each other. When assumptions are made without full knowledge, relationships might not materialize, business deals could fall apart, or worse. During this discussion, participants will learn techniques for handling unpleasant or difficult situations by requesting additional information in a diplomatic yet fruitful way. 

Don’t Van Gogh There: Really Listen

People who don’t know how to actively listen run the risk of being pegged poor communicators. It takes patience, empathy, attentiveness, and at least two people to work toward meaningful communication. This portion of the program focuses on helping participants learn to listen and formulate responses carefully when speaking with others, especially when they aren’t in agreement. 

Lasting Expressions: The Art of Writing Well

In the final segment of the course, participants will learn how writing, above all other communication forms, is arguably the most sophisticated, complex, difficult, often frustrating, yet lasting of those we use. Like esteemed artists, great writers are treasured by those who look at their work. Special attention is given to helping participants craft email messages that are clear, concise, and worthy of their and their readers’ time and consideration. 

By the end of this training program, participants will understand how to capitalize on their communication strengths, adjust to accommodate their weaknesses, effectively use office communication tools, and better handle difficult people.