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Business Communications Electives

Business Communications Elective Courses.

Collaboration Skills and Strategies

Explore collaboration models from three unique perspectives -- individual, team, & cross-functional -- within various job settings (virtual, in-person, and blended). Work to build trust and identify mutually beneficial internal/external relationships.

Effective collaboration — whether at the individual, team or enterprise level —sparks creative problem solving and generates positive ROI for organizations. Individuals, teams, and leaders can all take specific steps to ensure that the working environment supports –rather than forces – elements and concepts of teamwork in order to help support company growth and development objectives. Participants in our highly interactive workshop will assess personal strengths and challenges while exploring workplace partnership models from three unique perspectives -- individual, team, and cross-functional -- within various job settings (virtual, in-person, and blended). Students will also identify useful strategies to achieve common goals, including increased trust levels as well as the identification of mutually beneficial relationships both inside and outside the organization. Businesses can ill afford to ignore the critical benefits of successful collaboration in today’s hypercompetitive work environment – don’t get left behind.

After completing this program, participants will be able to:

  • Explore collaboration from different work environment perspectives.
  • Experience a collaboration challenge first-hand, to examine effective and ineffective ways people work toward a common goal.
  • Identify internal and external forces driving increased collaborative work.
  • Assess personal strengths and challenges associated with working collaboratively.
  • Re-frame conflicts as opportunities for constructive, problem-solving conversations to make collaboration easier.
  • Develop increased trust levels on the team to support a collaborative environment.
  • Identify mutually beneficial relationships with colleagues within and outside your organization.
  • Creative Strategy & Visual Thinking

    We'll develop your design and problem-solving skills as we explore innovative visual thinking strategies surrounding theory, aesthetics, and practice. Build your creative confidence and sharpen your talents utilizing design tools and applications.

    Today’s business world requires excellence in communication. Mastering the concepts of visual thinking via creative design strategy and messaging can improve your problem-solving skills with visual aids, design resources, and tips to support text-centric content. We will develop your design skills as we explore innovative strategies surrounding theory, aesthetics, and practice. Build your creative confidence and sharpen your talents utilizing design tools, generators, and applications. Our hands-on course will specifically support both non-designers as well as entry-level designers interested in effectively communicating and enhancing ideas visually.

    After completing this course, participants will be able to:
    • Articulate basic creative design principles, processes, and theory to support in developing and enhancing creative design projects
    • Develop visual thinking skills and creative design strategy
    • Facilitate a creative visual strategy with effective deliverables
    • Develop, analyze and refine creative concepts from initial idea to final product
    • Analyze and apply visual thinking and creative design strategies to challenges of specific problems

    Delivering Impactful Training Experiences in the Classroom and Online

    Join us to explore the psychologies of group learning and classroom dynamics. We will identify practical techniques designed to energize your training and ensure that your messages and material are delivered in a professional, positive manner.

    Your training outline is fully developed and the course material is ready for delivery... but how do you maximize participant engagement while properly utilizing best practices for presentations? Join us to explore the psychologies of group learning and classroom dynamics. We will identify practical techniques designed to energize your training and ensure that your messages and material are delivered in a professional, positive manner. We will also work to master the technology that makes online training possible, including detailed instructions on how to deliver a premium interactive experience that commands the same level of excitement as your classroom training.

    After this class, you will be able to:
    • Deliver professional, engaging training experiences for both classroom and online learners.
    • Utilize speaking techniques, body language and presentation design to energize a classroom.
    • Practice the elements of room dynamics, placement and setup to optimize course delivery.
    • Transform learning topics into immersive activities to solidify subject matter and message.
    • Use technology to deliver exceptional online training experiences to keep learners involved.


    Participants will need to come to Part II of the class with their computer or tablet (a computer is preferred) and have already set up a free ZOOM Meeting account by going to https://zoom.us/signup

    CLICK HERE FOR RECOMMENDED TEXTBOOK

    Effective Emails, Memos, and Letters

    The ability to clearly communicate your thoughts, plans, and proposals is a highly effective method to advance your ideas and earn the respect of your peers. Join us to improve your business communication skills via practices, tips, and techniques.


    Communicating clearly and concisely in written formats like email, memos, and letters is very important in a workplace setting. Clearly communicating your thoughts, plans and proposals is a highly effective means to advance your ideas and earn the respect of your peers. This course will help you improve your use of these common business communication vehicles by providing best practices and effective tips and techniques.


    This course grants 5 PDUs for successful completion. Students have 90 days from the day they are granted access to complete this course.

    Please note: Access to this course will be granted as soon as possible but may take up to 1 business day

    After this class, you will be able to:
  • Recognize when it's appropriate to use an email, a memo, or a letter
  • Recognize when it's appropriate to use an email, a memo, or a letter
  • Explain the parts of an email, a memo, and a letter, and format each so that the communication is effective
  • Consider primary and secondary uses for the email, memo, or letter
  • Explain how to facilitate both primary and secondary uses
  • Create a sample email, memo, and letter employing best practices
  • Essentials of Conflict Management

    Conflict management can distinguish good workplaces from great workplaces. Analyze conflict to understand the issues and emotions involved. Explore personal conflict management style and resolve issues in a sensible, equitable, and efficient manner.

    Conflict management is the practice of identifying and handling conflict in a sensible, equitable, and efficient manner. While conflict is inevitable in the workplace, the way conflict is managed can distinguish good workplaces from great workplaces. Participants will learn to analyze conflict to understand the issues and emotions involved. Then, they will learn to resolve conflict using a proven 4-step method. This course allows participants to explore their personal conflict management style and develop skills to manage conflict more effectively.

     

    After this course, students will be able to:

    • Manage conflict by understanding and exploring what it is
    • Recognize all five styles of conflict.
    • Know which style of conflict is their preferred style by assessing their own personal style
    • Develop basic skills in the five styles so they can use any one of them
    • Learn to diagnose situations in order to chose the most appropriate style
    • Learn troubleshooting techniques and other skills for successful conflict resolution

    Introduction to Online Learning

    Our course introduces the major models, tools, and techniques for effectively creating and delivering online learning, including a review of general learning theory fundamentals and how to apply these principles to online design and instruction.

    Learners who are engaging in online coursework have high expectations for their learning experience. And many institutions try to develop online coursework as a way to reduce cost and control the content of the training, but without regard for the complexities of the technology. This course introduces the major models, tools, and techniques for creating and delivering online learning. It reviews the fundamentals of general learning theory and how it can be applied in practice to online design and instruction. This course was developed by MindEdge's National Institute of Online Learning (NIOL), which was founded in 2012 with the goal to improve the quality and effectiveness of online learning, especially for adult learners, by promoting best practices and innovation in the field.

    This course grants 0.5 CEUs for successful completion. Students have 90 days from the day they are granted access to complete this course.

    Please note: Access to this course will be granted as soon as possible but may take up to 1 business day

    After this class, you will be able to:
    • Describe key trends in online learning
    • Differentiate between the constructivist and transmission models of learning
    • Devise techniques for active learning
    • Identify the steps common to course development processes and their roles in creating effective learning
    • Explain how learning objectives may be used to ensure that a course is meeting the need it was designed for
    • Identify the condition, performance, and qualification components of measurable learning objectives
    • Describe Bloom's Taxonomy and explain its application in instructional design
    • Describe the use of blended learning
    • Explain the benefits of narrative, adaptive, peer, and social learning
    • Discuss the instructional design needs specific to adult learners
    • Describe how to employ Whole-Part-Whole learning techniques
    • Recognize how worked examples advance learning
    • Describe instructional scaffolding and explain its use
    • Explain the 5E Learning Model
    • Explore the need for variety in online learning
    • Identify ways to incorporate video in online learning
    • Describe how to measure for success in online learning

    Leading Through Change

    Great managers recognize change and help employees adjust in a realistic and strategic manner, using sound principles and workable tools. We can't control uncertainty, but we can guide, shape, and influence this variable. Learn how and why in this class.

    In every organization today, regardless of size, industry or location, change is a constant. Leaders must recognize change and help their employees deal with it in a realistic and strategic manner using sound principles and workable tools. Managers must realize that people don’t resist change as much as they resist being changed. All of us respond to change differently. We don’t start at the same level, adapt at the same pace or end up in the same place. Organizational leaders don’t control change or uncertainty; rather they guide, shape and influence this variable.

    After this course, you will be able to:
    • Prepare for change by conducting change analysis
    • Communicate consistently about change to engage the organization
    • Manage emotions that arise during change
    • Shrink the change to keep employees focused

    Managing Difficult Conversations and Situations

    Identify basic communication strategies that can work across many difficult situations. Managing yourself properly can build the confidence to better manage problematic workplace events. Learn how to have open, robust, and fearless conversations.

    Difficult situations often arise in the workplace. This course addresses the more common situations and people and identifies strategies for dealing with them. Participants in this course will be exposed to the basic communication strategies that can work across all difficult behavior situations. This will help participants realize that the more proficient we are at managing ourselves the more confident we become managing difficult conversations and situations. Participants will look back at this practical course with a real sense of satisfaction and gratitude! Learn how to have open, robust and fearless conversations.


    After this class, you will be able to:
    • Understand how and why we use confrontation language and escalate situations.
    • Create prevention strategies to handle sensitive issues to avoid escalation and recognize problems before they become a crisis.
    • Determine the manner in which they come across to others.
    • Identify and perform the three line assertion communication technique to conduct difficult conversations.
    • Identify the most common types of difficult conversations in their organizations and apply strategies for dealing with them.

    Negotiations: Making Business Deals

    This course is designed to help executives and other potential deal-makers learn the essential strategies and skills to conducting successful business negotiations. Key topics include preparation, goal-setting, commitments, relationships, and outcomes.

    This self-paced course is designed to help executives and other potential deal-makers learn the essential strategies and skills to conducting successful business negotiations. Learners in this course will explore the fundamentals of deal making with the help of games, videos, interactive exercises, case studies, and other engaging content. The course begins by comparing and contrasting the two major types of negotiation—Dispute Settlement Negotiation (DSN) and Deal Making Negotiation (DMN)—and exploring the difference between negotiation and bargaining. Key topics covered in the course include the stages of the negotiation process; the importance of preparation and realistic goal-setting; the five basic approaches to negotiation; when to make (and when to avoid) commitments; the relative importance of relationships and outcomes; the decision to walk away from a negotiation; and the unique challenges posed by multiparty, international, and cross-cultural negotiations.

    This course grants 4 PDUs for successful completion. Students have 90 days from the day they are granted access to complete this course.

    Please note: Access to this course will be granted as soon as possible but may take up to 1 business day

    After this class, you will be able to:
    • Distinguish between Dispute Settlement Negotiation (DSN) and Deal Making Negotiation (DMN)
    • Explain the importance of BATNA in Deal Making Negotiation
    • Describe the relationship between bargaining and negotiation
    • Distinguish between interests and positions, and describe the importance of each
    • Explain the five steps of the negotiation process
    • Identify the types of information that should be assembled prior to negotiation
    • Describe the five principal approaches to negotiation
    • Identify the two types of commitments, and explain how they affect negotiating flexibility
    • Explain the importance of the opening position
    • Describe Leigh Thompson's mental models of negotiation
    • Explain the importance of active listening in the context of Deal Making Negotiation
    • Identify the challenges posed by multiparty negotiations, and describe strategies for meeting those challenges
    • Describe the circumstances under which a negotiator should call for a timeout, and when she should walk away from a negotiation
    • Explain the additional preparations needed before undertaking international or cross-cultural negotiations
    • Apply the principles of Deal Making Negotiation to real-world examples

    Negotiations: Resolving Disputes

    Managers and decision-makers can learn to settle workplace and interpersonal disputes via case studies and the application of proven negotiating principles and strategies. Topics include conflict management, assessments, and cooperative resolutions.

    This self-paced course is designed to help managers and other decision-makers learn to settle workplace and interpersonal disputes by the application of proven negotiating principles and strategies. Learners in this course will explore the fundamentals of Dispute Settlement Negotiation with the help of games, videos, interactive exercises, case studies, and other engaging content.

    The course begins by comparing and contrasting the two major types of negotiation: Dispute Settlement Negotiation (DSN) and Deal Making Negotiation (DMN). Key topics converged in the course include the causes of conflict; different styles of conflict management; how to conduct a conflict diagnosis; the uses of a strategy and interest assessment; and methods for avoiding stalemate and achieving a cooperative resolution.

    Case studies that simulate real-world conflict-resolution negotiations are incorporated, to illustrate the practical application of the principles and strategies covered in the course.



    Students have 90 days from the day they are granted access to complete this course.

    Please note: Access to this course will be granted as soon as possible but may take up to 1 business day

    After completing this course, you will be able to:
    • Distinguish between Dispute Settlement Negotiation (DSN) and Deal Making Negotiation (DMN)
    • Articulate the advantages and disadvantages of negotiation, compared to other methods of conflict resolution
    • Explain the importance of BATNA in Dispute Settlement Negotiation
    • Describe the most common causes of personal and workplace conflict
    • Explain the steps involved in conflict diagnosis
    • Describe the five conflict management styles identified by the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI)
    • Identify the main impediments to achieving a cooperative resolution, and explain how best to circumvent them
    • Describe how to develop a strategy and interest assessment
    • Explain the importance of active listening in the context of negotiation
    • Define ZOPA, and explain its importance in Dispute Settlement Negotiation
    • Explain how the ability to identify different negotiating currencies can help negotiators break a stalemate
    • Distinguish between "sacred" and "pseudo-sacred" values
    • Apply the principles of Dispute Settlement Negotiation to real-world examples

    Optimizing Virtual Teamwork

    Our workshop will provide helpful tools and best practices -- based on up-to-the-minute research -- for virtual teams, including how to conduct effective meetings, presentations and evaluations.

    Prior to COVID-19, estimates suggested that only ~16% of teams operated in a virtual format. The pandemic has forced a number of teams to quickly and efficiently move 100% online – and employees now face even more conflicts and challenges within the workplace environment. This abrupt shift means that organizations, teams, and individuals must rapidly learn new ways of communicating, collaborating, and connecting with one another. Our workshop will provide helpful tools and best practices -- based on up-to-the-minute research -- for virtual teams, including how to conduct effective meetings, presentations and evaluations.
    After this class, you will be able to:
    • Communicate effectively in virtual settings so that video, email, presentations, IMs, etc. are clear, courteous, and timely
    • Conduct an effective virtual meeting
    • Raise issues and discuss sensitive topics with colleagues using virtual communication tools
    • Assess and manage their virtual team member “reputation” so that blind spots and behaviors do not have unintended negative impact

    PowerPoint for Business

    Learn how to plan and design effective Microsoft PowerPoint slideshow presentations, including practical tips and examples for mapping the presentation, incorporating research, using templates, selecting visual elements, and delivering the results.

    As technology continues to change the way that we engage in business communications, the art of presenting has also undergone a shift. No longer can presenters rely solely on their spoken words to deliver their messages. Now, audiences expect to see multimedia slideshows that both inform and entertain. This course will consider how to plan and design effective slideshow presentations using Microsoft's PowerPoint software. It includes practical tips and examples for mapping the presentation, incorporating research, using templates, selecting visual elements, and delivering the presentation.

    This self-paced course grants 3 PDUs for successful completion. Students have 90 days from the day they are granted access to complete this course.

    Please note: Access to this course will be granted as soon as possible but may take up to 1 business day

    After this class, you will be able to:
    • Define effective communication
    • Describe the qualities of a well-designed slideshow presentation
    • Describe the qualities of a well-designed slideshow presentation
    • Identify common problems when using PowerPoint to design slideshows
    • Differentiate between effective and ineffective PowerPoint slides
    • Discuss the importance of having a clear purpose or goal for your presentation
    • Explain the four components of goal-oriented communication
    • Consider the importance of understanding your audience
    • Conduct audience analysis
    • Map your presentation using the "Forecast, Present, Echo" structure
    • Incorporate research into your presentation
    • Assess websites for reliability and credibility
    • Use slideshow templates effectively
    • Select images that are professional and well-designed
    • Choose visually appealing colors and fonts
    • Consider how design trends can be applied to slideshows
    • Identify the signs and symptoms of speaking anxiety
    • Describe methods for managing speaking anxiety, including relaxation strategies
    • Design a PowerPoint presentation that features recommended design principles

    Presentations: The Power to Persuade and Inspire

    Build confidence in your presentation style via practical exercises, best practices, and constructive peer feedback as you work to take the fear out of public speaking. Strengthen your ability to communicate with words, visuals, and body language.

    The ability to successfully persuade and inspire an audience is an essential skill -- presentations, web-conferences, and team meetings frequently offer substantial opportunities for professional growth and career development. Join us to build confidence in your presentation style via practical exercises, a review of best practices, and constructive peer feedback as you work to reduce anxiety and take the fear out of public speaking. We’ll apply the concepts employed by the ADEPT (Articulate, Dynamic, Engaging, Projecting, Telling) model to help strengthen your ability to communicate with words, visuals, and body language when all eyes are upon you.

    After completing this course, participants will be able to:

    • Build greater confidence for public speaking
    • Learn how to connect and engage any audience by applying the ADEPT model
    • Describe the do's and don'ts of great presentations
    • Build presentations skills through practice exercises

    Speak with Confidence

    We often allow stress and nerves to impede our ability to deliver a clear message -- our course is designed to help learners understand the causes and signs of speaking anxiety and learn practical ways to address their speaking fears.

    Public speaking is one of the most common anxiety-inducing experiences. Whether delivering a speech in front of a large audience or having a direct conversation with one or two other people, we often allow stress and nerves to impede our ability to deliver a clear message. This course is designed to help learners understand the causes and signs of speaking anxiety and learn practical ways to address their speaking fears.



    Students have 90 days from the day they are granted access to complete this course.

    Please note: Access to this course will be granted as soon as possible but may take up to 1 business day



    After this class, you will be able to:
    • Define speaking anxiety
    • Identify the common signs and symptoms of speaking anxiety
    • Explain the typical causes of speaking anxiety
    • Discuss the role of self-confidence in combatting speaking anxiety
    • Practice confidence building strategies
    • Explain and demonstrate relaxation techniques, such as equalized breathing, tension release, and visualization
    • Consider how to manage anxiety in one-on-one and small group interactions
    • Identify tips and tools for handling anxiety when delivering a speech in front of a large audience

    Teaching Online

    When students and teachers don't meet face-to-face, tactics and strategies are adjusted to help engage learners and identify struggling students to help ensure course material absorption. We'll survey online teaching models, tools, and techniques.

    Even the most experienced teachers often need help transitioning into the world of teaching online. When you don't meet your students face-to-face teachers must adjust their tactics and strategies to help them identify struggling students and to ensure students are engaging and learning the material. This course offers a brief survey of the major models, tools, and techniques in teaching online. This course was developed by MindEdge's National Institute of Online Learning (NIOL), which was founded in 2012 with the goal to improve the quality and effectiveness of online learning, especially for adult learners, by promoting best practices and innovation in the field.

    This course grants 0.5 CEUs for successful completion. Students have 90 days from the day they are granted access to complete this course.

    Please note: Access to this course will be granted as soon as possible but may take up to 1 business day

    After this class, you will be able to:
    • Discuss some of the benefits of online learning for students and instructors
    • Describe differences between online and face-to-face classroom teaching
    • Explain the role of an online instructor
    • Assess your own practices as an online instructor
    • Discuss effective ways to lead online discussion
    • Describe the Flipped Classroom and blended learning models
    • Outline ways to introduce collaborative learning (discussion forums, videoconferencing, Question of the Day, group projects, etc.) into an online program
    • Discuss key challenges in online learning and how to handle them
    • Describe methods for evaluating and assessing online instruction
    • Apply your understanding to case studies

    Visual PowerPoint

    Learn the importance of effectively selecting/arranging images and photographs for PowerPoint slides, as well as the use of tools like Shapes and SmartArt, methods for presenting data, and proper color/font selection to help increase content readability.

    In today's professional landscape, PowerPoint presentations can be effective platforms for sharing information and garnering audience interest and support. At the same time, a poorly designed PowerPoint slideshow can quickly turn an audience away. By focusing on how to apply basic design principles to slideshow creation, this course will help learners use Microsoft's PowerPoint 365 software to build visually engaging slideshow presentations. Learners will consider how to select images and photographs for use in slides, the importance of arrangement and placement of images, the use of tools like Shapes and SmartArt, methods for presenting data, and the selection of colors and fonts that increase the readability of content.

    Students have 90 days from the day they are granted access to complete this course.

    Please note: Access to this course will be granted as soon as possible but may take up to 1 business day

    After this class, you will be able to:
    • Define basic design principles, such as readability, color, consistency, contrast, arrangement, and information display
    • Explain how font choice and color can affect slideshow readability
    • Design slides that effectively implement the principles of consistency and contrast
    • Place images throughout a presentation while adhering to the principles of proximity, alignment, repetition, space, and the "big picture"
    • Select appealing and appropriate images to use in a slideshow
    • Use photographs in a slideshow as an attention grabber and storytelling device
    • Utilize the Shapes and SmartArt tools to communicate concepts visually
    • Present data clearly and effectively
    • Consider how design trends can be applied to slideshow presentation

    Win-Win Negotiations

    No set of problem-solving skills is more important than negotiation. Win-win negotiation is a specific strategy that uses carefully defined skills and techniques to produce results that are beneficial and acceptable to everyone at the negotiating table.

    In the diverse yet interconnected marketplace of the Twenty-first Century, no set of problem-solving skills is more important than negotiation. Win-Win Negotiation is a specific strategy, which uses carefully defined skills to produce results beneficial to everyone in a negotiation scenario. This course builds on the basic skills and concepts of conflict management and teaches participants how to create agreements that satisfy all parties. This course utilizes the book Getting to Yes as a learning resource, and includes video examples, case studies, role-plays and simulations to help participants achieve their learning goals.

    CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE REQUIRED BOOK

    After this class, you will be able to:
    • Describe Win-Win Negotiation
    • Use Win-Win Strategies to achieve mutually beneficial results
    • Stay tough on the problem, but easy on the people
    • Leverage their negotiating power
    • Develop a negotiation plan

    Building Teams - Building Culture

    How do leaders successfully develop high-performing teams while fostering a harmonious, culturally-driven environment? Identify techniques to increase staff engagement levels, create stronger interpersonal connections, and maximize performance results. Tuition: $195.

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    ‘Teamwork’ is a common tenet of many companies – but how do leaders successfully develop high-performing teams while fostering a harmonious, culturally-driven environment? By learning methodologies commonly utilized to assemble productive groups and acquiring the skills necessary to facilitate effective collaboration—even among virtual teams—participants in this course can increase staff engagement levels, create stronger interpersonal connections and maximize performance results.

      After completing this course, participants will be able to:
    • Describe the stages of team development, the functions at each stage, and the benefits of teaming
    • Assess individuals’ strengths to ensure the best possible team performance
    • Set goals successfully, and avoid common goal-setting mistakes
    • Explain how to foster accountability among team members to ensure all members succeed
    • Develop esprit de corps and coordinate effective team-building activities
    • Explore the effect of a virtual environment on teams.

    Project Management: Communications Tools & Techniques

    Effective, timely, and appropriate communication helps set and maintain expectations and increase the likelihood of a project's success. Learn tools and techniques via role play, lecture, and exercises to communicate effectively in a project environment. Tuition: $425.

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    Project Communications is one of the most important fundamental activities in successful project execution. Effective and appropriate project stakeholders’ communications is a critical success factor for project managers in meeting goals and objectives. Utilizing standard communication skills, tools and techniques to set and maintain expectations provides a cohesive project environment and a better chance for success.

    In this class, students will learn how to communicate effectively in a project environment. Through a combination of role play, lecture, and exercises, participants will hone their communication skills and learn best practices to successfully manage projects.

    After this class, you will be able to:
    • Plan appropriate communications on a Project
    • Apply common Tools and Techniques to manage project communications
    • Implement best practices to control communications throughout the project lifecycle