Center for Interpersonal and Communication Skills

Business Communication Skills

Program Overview

Your ability to successfully build effective work relationships is the key to success in today's complex business environment. The challenge is discovering how to work in a positive way that fosters the achievement of organizational goals. The first step is being aware of the differences among people and being willing to accept these differences as positive forces within an organization. And it all starts with you.

This program will prepare you to become a conscious communicator who depends on consistent, respectful and credible relationships to achieve results. You will return to work better able to build constructive and beneficial workplace relationships by learning how to analyze situations and consciously select and use productive communication strategies.

Return on Investment

  • Master the keys to excellent communication: observe, listen, analyze, plan and communicate
  • Learn how to use direct and indirect messages accurately
  • Develop flexibility in actions, thoughts and feelings to better handle any situation
  • Avoid mistakes and conflicts that may result from misinterpreting others or ineffective listening
  • Build your self-esteem as you discover a new self-awareness
  • Understand values, beliefs, attitudes and perceptual processes
  • Understand emotions and how they translate into emotional intelligence
  • Build better rapport and gain the trust of your colleagues
  • Discover the basic competencies critical to solid work relationships
  • Influence and motivate others to first-rate performance
  • Identify strengths, weaknesses and opportunities in your workplace relationships

Who Should Attend?

Senior Executives and Managers who are advancing in their organizations, and Senior Managers who need to extend their knowledge of business fundamentals will all gain a solid foundation of practical business knowledge and skills.

Program Focus

Effective Workplace Relationships

  • How do you build workplace relationships?
  • Behaviors that support or undermine these relationships
  • Assessing your relationships

Communication and Perceptions

  • What is world view?
  • World view, perception and workplace relationships
  • Trust busters and how to fix them
  • Mirroring and rapport

Investigating Emotions and Emotional Intelligence

  • Social intelligence and multiple intelligences
  • Assessing your multiple intelligences
  • Improving work relationships through emotional intelligence

Building Better Relationships with Ourselves and Others

  • Self-awareness, self-esteem and self-concept
  • Case study to understand your styles—and how to flex them

Relationship Building

  • Managing assumptions in order to build trusting relationships
  • Consciously building trust at work
  • Developing and showing a positive attitude

Expressing Needs with Relationships

  • Expressing needs and influencing others
  • Performing an interpersonal needs inventory
  • The shape and sound of assertiveness

Relational Communication

  • Identifying your communication style
  • Sharpening verbal and nonverbal skills
  • Applying direct and indirect messages for more flexible communication
  • Using feedback and questioning skills

Addressing Relational Change and Conflict

  • Practicing relational change
  • Selecting your conflict-resolution style
  • Planning to resolve conflicts assertively
  • Resolving conflicts with the relationship in mind

Effective Presentation Skills

Program Overview

This program is designed to give you confidence when delivering presentations and teaches you how to connect what you know about your subject with what your audience needs in ways that clarify and inspire. During this program you will learn how to overcome, and use problems to your advantage in order to give maximum impact with presentations.

Return on Investment

  • Build presentations that create maximum impact
  • Use your nerves to enhance your presentation
  • Choose the right visual aids
  • Use your voice to greater effect
  • Recognize and transform problem areas
  • Handle your audience with confidence
  • Explore how body language affects delivery
  • Assess how to package the message content to improve impact

Who Should Attend?

Senior Executives and Managers who are advancing in their organizations, and Senior Managers who need to extend their knowledge of business fundamentals will all gain a solid foundation of practical business knowledge and skills.

Program Focus

The Purpose of Presentations

  • Different types of presentations

Setting Up Your Presentation

  • Define your objective
  • Understand your audience
  • Understand your presentation"™s context

Determining Content and Structure

  • Decide what to say

Using Visuals

  • Choose the media for your visuals
  • Effective visuals


  • Overcome your fear of presenting
  • Rehearse for the presentation
  • Prepare mentally and physically

Presenting Effectively

  • How to speak effectively
  • How to use your voice effectively
  • How to project a positive image

Handling Questions

  • Preparing for questions
  • When should I answer questions?
  • What if I don't know the answer to a question?

Making Group Presentations

  • Making presentations with a group
  • A typical group presentation flow

Evaluating Your Presentation

  • Evaluate prior to the presentation
  • Evaluate during the presentation
  • And yes, evaluate after the presentation

Writing For Business

Program Overview

Many of the Managers and Executives functions involve written communication, and are part of your daily responsibilities. In addition, people judge you by the way you write. It is a reflection of your professional image. Therefore, the ability to express yourself clearly and accurately in writing has a direct impact on your success in your job.

This program focuses on the essential elements of effective business writing and shows how putting the readers needs first can help take the headache out of writing, and in doing so helping you extend your influence as an employee. In this topic, you will learn how to organize your thoughts, write a complete first draft, and make your everyday e-mails, memos, and reports useful, logical, and compelling.

Return on Investment

  • Understand the essential characteristics of good business writing
  • Develop efficient sentences and paragraphs
  • Examine the basic steps to effective writing
  • Understand how to use words for maximum effect
  • Know some common grammatical errors to avoid
  • Focus on the elements required to produce effective letters, memos, E-mail, job procedures, guidelines, and reports

Who Should Attend?

Senior Executives and Managers who are advancing in their organizations, and Senior Managers who need to extend their knowledge of business fundamentals will all gain a solid foundation of practical business knowledge and skills.

Program Focus

Writing from the Readers' Point of View

  • How your company benefits from reader-centered documents
  • How your readers benefit from reader-centered documents
  • How you benefit personally from reader-centered documents

Using Start-up Strategies

  • Do your research
  • Choose the best start-up strategy for your task
  • Starting a document by questioning
  • The traditional outline, the brainstorm outline, free writing

Organizing Material According to Purpose

  • Consider the needs and preferences of your audience as you decide how to organize the content
  • Frequently used organization methods
  • When method is appropriate
  • The chronological method, the process method, the spatial arrangement method, the compare and contrast method, the specific-to-general or general to- specific method, and the analytical method

Writing the First Draft

  • First, get it written, then get it right
  • Begin where you feel most comfortable
  • Developing smaller writing tasks or writing in "categories" can make the draft more manageable
  • Certain categories prove useful over and over
  • Standard parts of a formal proposal

Editing for Content and Style

E-Mail is Writing, Too!

  • Start with the subject line
  • Create effective e-mail messages
  • Make the purpose of the message clear
  • Be concise and precise
  • Remember your audience
  • Keep your formatting simple
  • Know when not to send an e-mail

Effectively Managing Meetings

Program Overview

Meetings are a key tool in the successful management of business activities. All too often time and effort is wasted by calling and attending meetings which are not well prepared, have no clear purpose and where attendees fail to participate in making decisions.

This program aims to assist in dealing with those aspects which inhibit the effectiveness of meetings and emphasize the best practices which make meetings successful.

This program covers meetings from start to finish when to meet, how to plan for a meeting, how to keep a meeting on track, as well as how to do proper follow-up.

Return on Investment

  • Learn how to plan and prepare meetings
  • Understand techniques in how an effective meeting should be run
  • Discover how to get the best practical benefits from a meeting
  • Study best practice at managing effective meetings
  • Explore the key aspects of effective preparation
  • Practice running meetings
  • Develop techniques for handling effective outcomes from meetings
  • Develop techniques at dealing with difficulties and conflicts arising from meetings

Who Should Attend?

Senior Executives and Managers who are advancing in their organizations, and Senior Managers who need to extend their knowledge of business fundamentals will all gain a solid foundation of practical business knowledge and skills.

Program Focus

Types and Purposes of Meetings

  • What do you want to accomplish?

Preparing for a Meeting

  • Create an agenda
  • Plan the setting and location
  • Do your homework

How Groups Reach Decisions

  • A decision by the leader
  • Voting by majority
  • Group consensus
  • How do you know when you have a genuine consensus?

Conducting a Meeting

  • What should the basic ground rules include?
  • Follow the agenda
  • Make sure people participate
  • Be aware of yourself as the leader

When Bad Things Happen to Good Meetings

  • Become an active listener
  • If the group is not addressing an issue directly or is focusing on one issue to the exclusion of others
  • Other hats leaders wear

End Matters

  • When to end
  • How to end

Virtual Meetings

  • Video-conferencing
  • Audio-conferences with internet support
  • Web-conferencing
  • Chat rooms and other live Web connections

Conflict Management

Program Overview

People can face almost any problem except the problem of people. They work long hours, face declining business, even the loss of a job, but they can't deal with the difficult people in their lives. This program will provide you with some strategies you can adopt, at work and in your personal life as well. This program will help you identify your style and if you may be contributing to some difficult interactions.

Return on Investment

  • Learn innovative, solutions-driven approach to the inevitable conflicts that arise at work
  • Discover practical, proven alternatives that you can harness in the most difficult and frustrating situations
  • Change the way you react and manage conflict when it does occur
  • Experience an incredible, positive change in yourself
  • Master your own emotions and the calm in the center of the storm

Who Should Attend?

Senior Executives and Managers who are advancing in their organizations, and Senior Managers who need to extend their knowledge of business fundamentals will all gain a solid foundation of practical business knowledge and skills.

Program Focus

  • How to uncover hidden resentments and learn what's really creating conflict
  • The escalation scale — how to prevent disagreements from turning into arguments
  • Steps you can take right now to repair relationships damaged by past conflicts
  • The secret to keeping poise and control when everyone around you loses them
  • Emotional first aid: Innovative practices that help you get control in the crucial first minutes of a crisis
  • Antagonists, blamers, complainers - set yourself free from the traps these difficult people set for you
  • Crisis communicating: Talk your way through even the most difficult of conflicts, and reach an acceptable compromise
  • How to predict a problem situation before it reaches the crisis stage — and avert it entirely
  • Self-destructive behaviors: find out how you can be your own worst enemy
  • Stress and anger: identify and eliminate your own deadly triggers
  • How to transform the negative energy of anger into a positive, productive force
  • How your individual personality drives your emotional responses
  • Is it a put-down or constructive criticism? How to tell the difference
  • Sinister sarcasm: how to deal with someone who veils insults with flattery
  • How to relax — quick 5 minutes is all you need to relieve the tension and anxiety of conflict
  • Placing blame: how this common, destructive habit can lead you to disaster
  • Physical symptoms of anger — know them, and you'll be able to warn yourself of an impending emotional surge

The Power of Listening

Program Overview

The ability to listen is critically important for your success. But few know how to really listen - to focus, receive, respond to, retain and retrieve vital information. Now get more benefit - and less frustration and disappointment - from business interactions. Learn to bar distraction, increase response and feedback, and remain fully "present." This program takes you beyond listening importance, nature and understanding function to develop its influence-potential to motivate others to more authentically communicate themselves - thus creating more efficient and productive dialogue.

This participatory workshop explores the knowledge, attitudes, and skills you need to become more effective in verbal communications. You will examine the listening process, assess your listening strengths and needs, develop effective listening techniques and strategies, and more.

Return on Investment

  • Examine the listening process
  • Assess your listening strengths and needs
  • Develop effective listening techniques and strategies
  • Identify non-supportive listening attitudes and behaviors
  • Harness and apply the power of listening
  • Discover a powerful communication model for turning all interactions into productive outcomes
  • Listen actively and show interest and concern
  • Clarify meaning and verify information to minimize misunderstanding and wasting time
  • Foster positive attitudes by providing effective feedback

Who Should Attend?

Senior Executives and Managers who are advancing in their organizations, and Senior Managers who need to extend their knowledge of business fundamentals will all gain a solid foundation of practical business knowledge and skills.

Program Focus

Self Appraisal:

  • Identify a range of verbal and non-verbal factors which affect others
  • Examine current work relationships and identify problem areas
  • Explore and satisfy individual needs; personal barriers

Conversation Openers:

  • The first impression
  • The importance of the initial stages of conversation
  • How a lack of listening at this stage can prove to be damaging

Passive Listening:

  • The use of eyes and acknowledgement tools
  • Learning to be controlled when confronted with a passive listener
  • The tendency to over-compensate with unneeded phrases and words
  • Holding the listener's gaze

Acknowledgement Responses:

  • Appropriate expressions and kinetics
  • Paralinguistic
  • Supportive acknowledgement responses keeping the speaker at ease

Communication Breakdown:

  • Background interference
  • How misunderstandings, misconceptions and poor judgment are the probable outcome of interference
  • Judgmental interference
  • Critical responses

Listening Skills:

  • The essence of communication in listening
  • Reading and understanding
  • The fundamental advantage of reflective listening

The Psychology of Persuasion

Program Overview

Formal authority no longer gets Managers as far as it used to. To do their job accomplishing work through others Managers must develop and use persuasion skills rather than simply issue orders.

During this program, you will learn how to master the art and science behind successful persuasion and begin changing others attitudes, beliefs, or behavior to create win-win solutions.

Return on Investment

  • Understand what persuasion is
  • Build your credibility
  • Gauge your audience's receptivity to your ideas as well as their decision-making style
  • Appeal to listeners' sense of logic and connect emotionally with them
  • Overcome resistance to your ideas
  • Activate persuasion "triggers," or mental shortcuts your audience may take to decide whether to support your ideas
  • Prompt your listeners to persuade themselves to back your proposals

Who Should Attend?

Senior Executives and Managers who are advancing in their organizations, and Senior Managers who need to extend their knowledge of business fundamentals will all gain a solid foundation of practical business knowledge and skills.

Program Focus

What is Persuasion?

  • Why is persuasion important?
  • The elements of persuasion
  • The ethics of persuasion

Building Your Credibility

  • The credibility equation
  • Trust
  • Expertise

Understanding Your Audience

  • Identify decision makers, key stakeholders, and influencers
  • Analyze your audience's receptivity
  • Determine decision-making styles

Winning Your Audience's Mind

  • Structure your presentation effectively
  • Provide compelling evidence
  • Spotlight benefits your listeners value

Winning Your Audience's Heart

  • Vivid descriptions
  • Metaphors
  • Analogies
  • Stories

Overcoming Resistance

  • Identify resisters' interests
  • Understand resisters' emotions
  • Listen to resisters' concerns
  • Ensure that your verbal and nonverbal messages are consistent
  • Present resisters' viewpoints before your own

Understanding Persuasion Triggers

  • Contrast / Liking / Reciprocity / Social proof
  • Commitment and consistency
  • Authority
  • Scarcity

Leveraging the Power of Audience Self-Persuasion

  • Visualization / Questioning / Active listening

Group Facilitation Skills

Program Overview

Facilitation is fast becoming a key skill for anyone who is in a team, leading a project team, heading up a working group or managing a department. Facilitation is the skill, and art of guiding others to solve their own problems and achieve their objectives without simply giving advice or offering solutions. A facilitator provides the structure and process enabling groups to function effectively and make high-quality decisions.

This program is highly participative and is designed to help delegates achieve a practical understanding of the process and skills of facilitation.

Return on Investment

  • Appreciate the benefits and applications of facilitation in the workplace
  • Be able to differentiate between process and content facilitation
  • Identify the core practices and skills required for effective facilitation
  • Understand how to stimulate group participation and positively handle conflict
  • Understand the benefits and uses for focus groups
  • Develop the key skills of a facilitator
  • Understand and effectively deal with group dynamics
  • Effectively facilitate a focus group

Who Should Attend?

Anyone who intends to lead a variety of focus groups, project meetings or working groups and wishes to become more effective at guiding people to solve problems and make decisions.

Program Focus


  • What are the objectives for the task?
  • What are your objectives?
  • Types of focus group
  • The role of a facilitator


  • Putting together aims and objectives
  • Identifying group 'ground rules'
  • Selecting group members
  • Venue, materials and techniques

Facilitator Skills

  • Listening, questioning and probing
  • How to generate ideas and thoughts
  • Idea and solution generation techniques
  • Decision making techniques
  • Creativity techniques
  • Establishing and retaining control
  • Staying ahead
  • Importance of feedback
  • Increasing personal impact and credibility
  • Maximizing verbal and visual communication skills

Group Behavior

  • Understanding group dynamics
  • Diagnosing the development of a group
  • Dealing with group conflict
  • Dealing with individual behavior
  • Group size and participation

Facilitating a group

  • Setting 'ground rules'
  • Establishing the objectives
  • Encouraging discussion
  • Avoiding negativity
  • Handling group dynamic 'problems' (examples: attention seekers, silence, off track discussions, dominating characters)
  • Closing the group down

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