Become aware of the conscious and unconscious codes of meaning people send when communicating with others.
Communicating successfully depends on effective use of communication strategies and behaviors. Words, facial and body movements, tone of voice, even clothing and situation, all form an intricate symbol system that must be quickly translated by those who want to communicate.
It has been said that there is no communication unless a mutual sharing of meaning takes place. It has also been said that one cannot NOT communicate. These two ideas seem to oppose one another, but they are two sides of the same coin. A smile can have many meanings, but so can silence.
This course will show you how to manage the conscious and unconscious codes of meaning people send to each other and how to respond with appropriate codes in turn. You will explore concepts of verbal and nonverbal expression, including personal style, listening, relationship dynamics, self-esteem, conflict management, and cultural and gender communication differences.
- This course can be taken on either a PC, Mac, or Chromebook.
- PC: Windows 8 or later.
- Mac: macOS 10.6 or later.
- Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
- Adobe Acrobat Reader.
- Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.
- Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.
Instructional Material Requirements:
The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.
Communication is more than just speaking, hearing, or having a good vocabulary. This course explores strategies for success in everyday interpersonal communication. You will explore clear examples of verbal and nonverbal habits, effective listening, self-concept, differences in conversational styles, and conflict management. You will also learn about practical strategies you can use to improve communication at home, in social situations, and in the workplace.
Your first lesson introduces two detailed models that explain the complex nature of communication. You will learn how words, thoughts, the situation, and even the environment are all connected—and that they all change from one communication event to the next.
Have you ever been in a situation where you don't know whether to say less, say more, or say nothing? In this lesson, you will learn seven premises of communication that will help you through those times. This lesson introduces two strategies for improving communication competence.
The Personal Side of Communication
In this lesson, you will learn how individual emotions, beliefs, attitudes, and values as well as self-esteem and group belonging influence how people communicate. You will also explore how everyone seeks gratification of specific human needs through the unique and complicated communication process.
Language and Logic
This lesson focuses on the ways in which language affects reasoning abilities. You will learn about constructing useful word maps that benefit your decision making as well as strategies you can use to avoid mental traps that can clog your thinking process.
Can you say something without uttering a word? In addition to voice, facial expression, and body movement, this lesson covers other ways people send messages without making a sound. You will also learn about nonverbal communication behaviors—sending messages of either inclusion or exclusion.
Intercultural Communication Differences
This lesson explores cultural identity and how it molds habits of communication no matter what the language of the culture is. You will learn how cultures of the world are divided into two main categories. You will examine how groups generalize others and the psychological reasons for doing that.
This lesson introduces different types of listening. You will learn about the barriers to effective listening, and strategies you can use to improve your listening habits. You will also compare poor listening to empathic listening and evaluate the effects each has on communication success.
Gender Communication Differences
In this lesson, you're invited to examine gender identities from the inside out. You will learn how brain structure as well as physical structure helps determine how men and women communicate. You will learn the differences in masculine and feminine behavior and how these identities manifest themselves.
In this lesson, you will learn the three main characteristics that make up any relationship as well as the stages that all relationships go through. You will explore how self-disclosure and psychological balance affects relationships and discover the role lying plays in relationships.
This lesson examines several communication theories that will be useful in analyzing and understanding communication behaviors of yourself and others. You will learn three rules for effective communication behavior that will help you know when and how to adjust your communication behavior.
In this lesson, you will learn how people can change the direction of a conversation to advance a personal agenda. This lesson explores the strategies of persuasion, characteristics of credibility, and how to achieve a sense of control in a communication situation.
Interpersonal Conflict Resolution
Your last lesson identifies various types of interpersonal conflicts. You will also explore the ways that different cultural groups and identities approach and resolve conflict. You will then learn how to dissect a conflict and apply four steps to successful conflict resolution.
What you will learn
- Understand that basics of communication and how to avoid misunderstandings
- Learn how language affects reasoning abilities
- Learn about nonverbal communication and how men and women use it differently
- Understand cultural identity and how it molds habits of communication
- Discover the three main characteristics that make up any relationship as well as the stages that all relationships go through
- Learn how to successfully and efficiently resolve conflicts
How you will benefit
- Learn to effectively communicate in both casual and professional situations
- Open the door to enhanced career opportunities as you learn to better communicate with those around you
- Develop deeper, more meaningful relationships with effective communication and listening skills
Laurel Bragstad combines her understanding of communication theory and human relationships to design curriculum in interpersonal communication, public speaking, journalism, persuasion, and theory and research. With a Master of Arts degree in interpersonal communication and rhetoric, she has taught a wide range of courses to undergraduate and graduate students. Her publications include several articles in ETC: The Journal for the International Society of General Semantics, a chapter in Classroom Exercises for General Semantics (published by the International Society of General Semantics), and a novel entitled In the Comfort of Shadows.