To actively listen, share information, provide direction and express ideas and feelings effectively through a range of different forms (verbally, visually and written) so that the intended message is successfully delivered, received, understood and responded to.
Effective communication is about more than just exchanging information. It is about understanding the emotion and intentions behind the information.
As well as being able to clearly convey a message, you need to be able to listen in a way that gains the full meaning of what is being said and makes the other person feel heard and understood.
For many of us, communicating more clearly and effectively requires us also to listen effectively, and observe and understand the non-verbal signals. Learning these skills can deepen your connections to others, build greater trust and respect, and improve teamwork, problem solving, and your overall social and emotional health.
Effective communication is a universal job skill that applies to any position and every industry. Workers in the digital age must know how to effectively convey and receive messages in person as well as via phone, email, and social media. You need to understand your audience and how best to communicate with them i.e. specialist vs. non-specialist audience.
Effective communication in the workplace is an integral element of a business’s success; it enhances relationships within the company and with clients, and it increases employee engagement and the overall effectiveness of a team.
The employee who can make a compelling presentation, who can communicate succinctly via email, sound persuasive on the phone, write a complex business plan that the audience understands or can motivate a team to action, is the one who will succeed in the 21st century workplace.
Technology has also changed the way we communicate both on a personal and professional level. Technology speeds up communication between people. Technology provides us with the convenience to use more than one method of communication.
Now people can use email, social media, chat messengers, video conferencing, video calls, images, videos, symbols, diagrams, charts, emoticons, etc. for communication.
Key behaviours associated with being an effective communicator
- Delivery and style
- Digital literacy
- Visual, oral, written
- Body language
- Audience focussed
- Listening skills
- Influencing and negotiation
- Professional etiquette
- Team work
Examples of Outcomes
Students should be able to:
- Analyse and interpret texts and other forms of written communication
- Express opinions, speculate, discuss, reason and engage in debate and argument
- Engage in dialogue, listen attentively and elicit opinions, views and emotions
- Research, plan and deliver ideas, knowledge and information in a coherent way
- Make choices about what medium to use, taking account of audience and purpose
- Present using a variety of mediums and visual aids, and develop skills to engage their audience in discussion
- Use of range of general ICT tools effectively (e.g., PowerPoint, video clips, and more specialised ICT if appropriate)
- Present written material which is grammatically correct and free from spelling mistakes
- Develop a deeper understanding of the power of communication, language and images in the 21st century
- Appreciate the contribution of effective communication to successful teamwork in settings of a social and professional nature
- Engage in teamwork, listening to others and expressing self effectively
- Self-reflect in order to understand the importance and value of good communication skills
- Make considered responses that are expressed without the need for fillers, for example 'urm' and 'like'
Curriculum Design Strategies
Include diverse formative and summative assessments for both individual and group-based activities.
Include flexible written and oral exercises suitable for different audiences, as well as a requirement for students to reflect on their strengths and areas for development.
Include assessments that test presentation skills both oral and written, using a wide range of digital tools.
Curriculum Delivery Strategies (examples)
- Oral Presentation – Provide opportunities for students to present a concept/idea to their peers or other stakeholders such as IAB members, academic staff. Make presenting the norm as a means to discuss findings.
- Poster Presentation - Provide opportunities for students to participate in classroom, online or conference event of their area of investigation and produce a poster to demonstrate learning outcomes.
- Written Report/Case Reviews – Provide opportunities for students to author a focused employment/case review report.
- Business Plan – Provide opportunities for students to produce a business plan with all key headings.
- LinkedIn Profile – Ask students to put together a LinkedIn profile that showcases their skills and achievements. This could be linked to a skills audit.
- Visual Presentation – Provide students with a topic to discuss and present to their peers, asking them to utilise a wide range of multimedia and digital tools i.e. Zoom, Teams, PowerPoint, Prezi, Menti-meter etc.
- Communication Review and Research – Ask students to review the communication styles/mediums that exist across their sector/subject area e.g. online treatment, therapy, consultancy, portfolios, show reels, videos etc.
- Professional Etiquette – Deliver input on the professional competencies and etiquette that is needed in relation to sending emails, job interviews etc.
- Debates – Provide the opportunity to introduce classroom debates, focused on a relevant topic, and understanding the importance of delivery in a professional manner.
- Digital Collaboration – Design online interaction/activities to assist students to explore their digital skills to find information and present it in a collegial manner.
- Critical Self-Reflection – Encourage students to maintain a reflective diary/blog/journal/case studies to record how their contribution in a learning environment impacts on others.
- Use of online recording – Ask students to develop their self-reflection online, through the use of a vlog/podcast/video