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Effective Interpersonal Communication Skills


Learn about your communication style and how it affects others. Uncover your listening skills. Employ strategies for motivating performance improvement and overcoming perceptual barriers.


Although often termed a "soft" skill, communication is the most critical skill a professional needs to work effectively in any organization. Poor communication is frequently identified as the major cause of conflict and performance problems. By exploring the fundamental nature of human communication we will derive strategies for avoiding misunderstanding, creating shared meaning and motivating others. By examining how the human brain processes messages, you will discover how to interrupt internal stories that trigger emotions and how to listen when it's difficult, and be assertive when it's easier to run away.

Identifying our communication style and those of others will be a key exercise, because differences in style are a major cause of conflict and misunderstanding. Using a well-established method, we'll discern if your predominant style is more Amiable, Driver, Analytical or Expressive. As a way to look at all diversity, we'll review the differences in male and female communication styles. You'll learn to flex your style and break through perceptual barriers. Also discover how to give feedback effectively, listen actively and express feelings non-defensively in challenging conversations.

Program Agenda

Day One:
• The benefits and barriers to effective communication
• Avoiding "The Sucker's Choice"
• Why communication is so difficult and misunderstanding is the norm
• The critical importance of nonverbal communication
• How the human brain processes incoming messages
• Video case study analysis
• Assessing and flexing our communication styles
• Research on differences in male and female styles
• Emotional intelligence for when the going gets tough
• Techniques for managing difficult moments in sensitive conversations

Day Two:
• Why all the emphasis on active listening?
• Two advanced listening skills
• Twelve skills for understanding and managing perceptions
• Practicing the most difficult listening skills
• Giving feedback effectively; a detailed process
• Contracting in advance for coaching
• Risk analysis for giving feedback up the hierarchy
• Expressing feelings non-defensively as a strategy
• Multiple video examples analysis
• Giving praise more powerfully
• Dealing with defensiveness
• Picking your battles and letting go

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Benefits and Learning Outcomes

  • Flex your communication style to improve understanding
  • Apply techniques for managing difficult moments in sensitive conversations
  • Listen actively when it's difficult to do so
  • Overcome perceptual and other communication barriers

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Course Outline/Topics

  1. My Personal Development Plan
    1. Barriers to Learning
  2. Effective Communication
    1. Factors Affecting “Meaning”
    2. Goals and Values
    3. Perceptual Biases
    4. Non-Verbal Communication
    5. Using PACING to Build Rapport
    6. Communication/Behavior/Social Styles
    7. Utilizing Style Flex
    8. Gender Communication
    9. Perception Checking
  3. Emotional Intelligence
    1. Mindfulness/Self-Awareness
    2. The Ladder of Influence
    3. Communicating Non-Defensively
    4. Keeping Your Cool
    5. Nondirective Questions
    6. Reflecting Skills
    7. 5 Kinds of Advice-Giving
    8. Giving Challenging Feedback
    9. Three-Part Message
    10. “Constructive” Criticism
    11. Dealing With Defensiveness
    12. Benefits of Feedback
    13. Descriptive Recognition

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This program can be applied toward the:

Program fee includes morning and afternoon refreshment networking breaks, lunches and instructional material.

"Directly applicable to my responsibilities at work."
Greg Fisch, Director of Computer Operations, Julie Inc.

Wed.-Thu., Dec. 9-10
Location: UWM School of Continuing Education (Click link for directions)
Instructor: Laura V. Page
$845: Register by Wed., Nov. 25
$895: Register on or after Thu., Nov. 26 Discount Available
Enrollment Limit: 30
Program No. 5050-8188
Register Now
Wed.-Thu., June 8-9, 2016
Location: UWM School of Continuing Education (Click link for directions)
Instructor: Laura V. Page
$845: Register by Wed., May 25, 2016
$895: Register on or after Thu., May 26, 2016 Discount Available
Enrollment Limit: 30
Program No. 5050-8698
Register Now
For more information, contact:
Jan Allen, Director, Business & Management,, 414-227-3219, 888-947-9947


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