Full course description

The ability to use the basic channels of communication with listening and problem-solving skills is critical to success. Using a combination of text, short videos, practice, and reflection, learners will focus on three channels of communication to learn how to resolve tough issues, whether with clients, supervisors, collaborators, or employees.

  • Module one sets the stage for reducing communication problems and improving conversations. At the end of the module, you will be able to describe the essential elements of effective conversations, identify barriers to effective conversation, and identify when a conversation becomes "crucial."
  • Module two looks at conditions indicating a crucial conversation is in progress and what to do to return it to safety, even when the topic  is difficult. At the end of this module, you will be able to demonstrate attending skills, define mutual respect and mutual purpose, and describe how to restore safety in a conversation.
  • In module three learn how to restore safety in a conversation. There are two safety conditions—mutual purpose and mutual respect—that must be met in order to have effective conversations.  At the end of module three, you will be able to apply assertion skills, accurately describe felt emotions, and recognize the stories you tell yourself when you become angry, scared, or hurt.
  • It's great to understand the story you're telling yourself and develop assertion messages, but how do you make it work? At the end of Module four, you will be able to apply the assertion process, demonstrate reflective listening skills, and respond calmly and respectfully to others’ defensive actions.
  • Module five looks at the steps beyond the conversation that lead to resolution. At the end of it, you will be able to apply collaborative problem solving process, describe four ways of making decisions, and define seven skill sets for talking through tough issues.