Workforce Essentials

Essentials of Communication 115

This class explains core concepts behind effective workplace communication. Concepts covered include the importance of active listening and empathetic listening, the pivotal importance of attentive listening, effective verbal and nonverbal communication, mastering written communication, navigating communication obstacles, and resolving workplace conflicts.

After taking this class, users will understand the essentials of communication that help to foster collaboration, understanding, and productivity while avoiding or successfully resolving misunderstandings, costly mistakes, and problematic conflicts.

  • Difficulty Beginner

  • Format Online

  • Number of Lessons 10

  • Language English


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Course Outline
  • Effective Communication
  • Active Listening
  • Empathetic Listening
  • The Importance of Listening
  • Active, Empathetic Listening Review
  • Verbal and Nonverbal Communication
  • Written Communication
  • Communication Obstacles
  • Workplace Conflicts
  • Communication Obstacles and Conflicts Review
  • Describe effective communication.
  • Describe active listening.
  • Explain how to communicate with empathy.
  • Explain how to avoid workplace issues due to poor listening.
  • Contrast verbal and nonverbal communication.
  • Explain how to create effective written communication.
  • Describe common obstacles to effective workplace communication.
  • Explain how to handle workplace conflicts.
Vocabulary Term

active listening

Receiving, deciphering, and interpreting a verbal message with intent to respond. Active listening encompasses absorbing a message, understanding context, and responding to signal that understanding.


The process of sending and receiving messages via various media. Communication involves both transferring a message and ensuring that the message is received and fully understood by the receiver.

conflict resolution

The practice of intervening to eliminate potentially damaging or unhealthy conflict. Conflict resolution involves identifying the involved parties, understanding the conflict's key points, allowing each side to share perspectives privately, and asking for preferred resolution approaches.


A set of observable conditions that both a sender and receiver can use to associate the same things to a given message. Context includes the background to the message, the usefulness of the message, and the basis of comparison with other possible messages and interpretations.

cross-cultural communication

Any interaction, verbal and nonverbal, between people of different cultural backgrounds. Cross-cultural communication refers to how well people from different cultures understand each other's messages in context.

empathetic listening

A method of listening that involves understanding both the content of a message as well as the intent of the sender and the circumstances under which the message is given. Empathetic listening entails making an emotional connection with the other person and finding similarities between their experience and your own, so you can give a more heartfelt response.


The ability to sense the emotions of other people. Empathy involves imagining what someone else is thinking or feeling.


A tool used to hold metal workpieces together during fastening, such as welding or bolting. F-clamps are named for their shape, which resembles the letter F.


A passive, partial awareness of sound. Hearing is only one component of listening.


External distractions that prevent effective communication and understanding. Interference may include loud noise, technical difficulties, individual sensory issues, and cultural misunderstandings.

job aids

Simple instructions and process documentation that deliver information on performing a task. Job aids offer fast, easy-to-understand training.


The means used to convey a message. The most commonly used media for communication are verbal, nonverbal, and written communication.

nonverbal communication

Using cues via body language to convey message content. Facial expressions, body gestures, and voice intonation are forms of nonverbal communication.

open-ended questions

An inquiry that cannot be answered with a simple YES or NO and instead requires the respondent to elaborate on their points. Open-ended questions help provide more information about respondent perspectives.


A harmonious relationship between people who have established mutual trust. Building rapport is how humans connect, identify shared feelings, and establish two-way communication.


The intended audience of a message. The receiver is responsible for listening to, understanding, and responding to the message.


The originator of a message. The sender transfers the message to the receiver.

shooting the messenger

A metaphor that refers to the act of blaming or taking out anger on someone who delivers bad news. "Shooting the messenger" can make people reluctant to share problems they have encountered for fear they will be blamed for them unfairly.

stick welders

A tool that emits a flux-coated electrode arc. Stick welders are used in shielded metal arc welding (SMAW).


An aspect of communication that conveys or implies feelings, emotions, or attitudes. Tone involves not just the words chosen, but the style with which a message is delivered.

verbal communication

Using the spoken word as a medium to deliver a message. Verbal communication includes talking face-to-face, on a telephone, or as a speech.