Washington University in St. Louis
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Communication Certificate

Communication Certificate Program - Leadership Skills

Humans are social creatures and in our daily lives and work, we are constantly interacting with others. Whether these interactions happen face-to-face, over the phone or through email or text, how we communicate makes an impact, whether negative or positive. So what communication skills can be acquired to conduct more effective interactions day-to-day?

There exists a core set of business communication skills everyone needs to master to build relationships and get work done effectively. We call these skills the "Interaction Essentials" because they are the core behaviors that make leaders and associates effective. These skills help individuals meet both personal needs (to be respected and involved) and practical needs (through an effective organizational communication structure).

Coursework includes a behavioral profiling tool to assist in identify one's own natural strengths and behaviors. And when learning to purposefully operate from these strengths one can coach, delegate and correct performance problems more effectively. Enrollment in communication studies will address verbal, non-verbal, written, mobile, mass media and other effective communication styles.

Certificate requirements include completing all four of the following courses to receive a Communication Certificate with the Technology & Leadership Center. In-person classroom and virtual options are available.

Learn about more technical leadership & leadership development training topics.


Certificate Course Descriptions

1. Foundation for Effective Leadership (4 hrs)

Interpersonal communication skills are important for technical professionals, but individual differences are important to the success of an entire organization; these vital differences can lead to common workplace issues though, such as stress, conflict, low productivity, and resistance to change. So how do you solve problems among unique individuals? You begin with self-awareness which is the key to effective communication and management.

A main component of this course is the DiSC® Workplace self-assessment report, which details the four DiSC dimensions of behavior—Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, Conscientiousness. After taking this assessment, you will not only discover your own DiSC style but also understand other styles so that you can more effectively communicate with them.

You will learn critical thinking skills on how to increase effectiveness with teams, in meetings, and in individual discussions with managers, peers, vendors and customers.

2. Communication: Connect through Conversations (4 hrs)

In the context of strategic management, much of a leader’s work is accomplished through daily conversations with team members and others. These interactions, especially the tough ones, often involve intensely personal feelings that have an impact on the practical outcome and the personal connection between the leader and the person.

In this course, you will learn how to harness emotional intelligence to balance both “heart” and “head” and, therefore, guide tough conversations toward the desired business outcomes. Coursework consists of high energy activities, videos, critical thinking and discussions, you will gain flexible strategic communication skills that will help in all types of conversations, whether communicating face to face, by phone or remotely.
 
 

3. Building and Sustaining Trust (4 hrs)

Trust is directly linked to employee engagement, retention, productivity and innovation. Leaders who demonstrate trustworthiness inspire higher levels of performance, commitment to teamwork and organizational success.

In these courses, you will be introduced to "Trust Builders," which are actions that you can take to build and sustain trusting relationships. On the other hand, you will also learn about "Trust Breakers" that can erode or quickly break trust. Applying these skills to build relationships enables people to take risks, openly communicate, identify and solve problems, repair damaged relationships and overall collaborate more effectively to achieve business results.
 

4. Writing, Speaking and Presenting with Confidence (12hrs)

Leaders need to form an impression of themselves that is confident, focused and engaging. Competency in business communication, including both effective writing and public speaking, are skills they must cultivate and practice.

In this required course, you will improve your professional communication skills, whether you are a new or experienced project manager, team leader, or simply interested in personal and career development. You will not only learn important business writing strategies to get your written message across clearly, but also how to speak in public in order to enhance your content with compelling and engaging delivery.
 

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What our students are saying...

"Influencing others takes a structural approach to be most effective - this class provided just that." Communication: Connect Through Conversations - Communication Certificate
"Overall, really enjoyed the instructor. She was very interactive with the class and made the subject interesting - I wanted to listen." Foundation for Effective Leadership - Communication Certificate
"Fun, educational, enlightening" Writing, Speaking and Presenting with Confidence - Communication Certificate
(The most important thing I learned was…) "How to prepare for difficult conversations." Building and Sustaining Trust - Communication Certificate