Workforce Essentials

Professional Communication Pitfalls 165

This class demonstrates the complexity of workplace communications. Meaning derives not only from the words a speaker chooses, but also from the relationship between speakers and how a message is delivered. Using negative language or unnecessarily complex vocabulary can lead to misunderstandings and, sometimes, be perceived as an insult or attack. In addition, cultural and technical context are often required to understand specialized language like jargon, slang, idioms, and buzzwords.
After completing this course, learners should be able to recognize some basic types of negative and specialized language, as well as when to avoid or limit them in workplace conversations.

  • Difficulty Beginner

  • Format Online

  • Number of Lessons 10

  • Language English


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Course Outline
  • Introductions
  • Personality Differences and Communication
  • Gossip and Bias
  • Review: Rumors, Bias, and Conflict
  • Expressions and Jargon
  • Review: Expressions and Jargon
  • Formality and Clarity
  • Miscommunications and Leadership
  • Final Review
  • Epilogue
  • Describe how differences in personality can cause communication conflicts or difficulties.
  • Describe how gossip and rumors can affect workplace communication. Identify biased language.
  • Describe the effects of unfamiliar expressions on workplace interactions. Describe the effects of jargon or specialized language on workplace interactions.
  • Describe how communication changes depending on the relationship between coworkers.
  • Explain the importance of clarity in workplace communications.
  • Explain that workplace miscommunications can happen at any level, even in leadership. Explain the importance of clarity in workplace communications.
Vocabulary Term


An abbreviation formed from the initial letters of other words. Acronyms often require specialized knowledge to use or understand.


A program that prepares individuals to enter the workforce in a specific field or area. An apprenticeship involves traditional instruction as well as work-based training and connects apprentices with specific employers.


A prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another. A bias expressed in language is usually unfair or harmful.


A word or phrase that is fashionable in a particular context. Buzzwords often derive from technical terms and are often used to impress or flaunt knowledge about a topic.

circle back

To discuss later. "Circle back" is a common phrase in business slang.


A word or phrase that is not formal or literary. Colloquialisms often include idiomatic expressions.


A purposeful arrangement between two or more components in business. An ecosystem can be as small as a team of coworkers and as large as an entire corporation.


Flux-cored arc welding. A semi-automatic or automatic arc welding process that uses a continuously fed consumable electrode with an inner core of flux. FCAW includes both self-shielded flux-cored arc welding (FCAW-S) and gas-shielded flux-cored arc welding (FCAW-G).


Complying with etiquette, regulations, or customs. Formality in language determines how rigidly people in a conversation adhere to rules or relationship cues.


Gas metal arc welding. An arc welding process in which a bare wire electrode and inert or active shielding gas are fed to the weld through a welding gun. GMAW can release a combination of shielding gas fumes generated in the arc that can be dangerous without proper ventilation.


Gas tungsten arc welding. A precise arc welding process that uses a nonconsumable tungsten electrode and inert shielding gas. GTAW is also known as tungsten inert gas welding (TIG welding).


Human Resources. The department within an organization that is responsible for creating and maintaining relationships with personnel. HR hires employees, manages employee compensation and benefits, and deals with conflicts and other employee issues.

idiomatic language

A subset of language that uses or contains expressions that are natural to a native speaker. Idiomatic language often has meanings that are not literal and require special cultural context to understand.


A phrase that expresses a meaning different from its literal meaning. Idioms require cultural context or a high degree of proficiency in a language to be understood.


A word or expression used by a particular profession or group. Jargon includes any technical terminology that is difficult to understand without specialized knowledge.


A person responsible for ensuring a machine performs its job correctly, efficiently, and safely. Machinists, or operators, are responsible for interpreting manufacturing prints and implementing the design using various metal cutting machines.

native English speaker

A person who has spoken English as their primary language since childhood. A native English speaker has innate knowledge of English expressions and grammar.

oxyfuel cutting

A thermal cutting process that uses a flame produced by a mix of oxygen and fuel gas along with a high-pressure stream of oxygen. Oxyfuel cutting is sometimes called flame cutting or gas cutting, but these terms are non-standard.


A document containing all the information necessary to manufacture and inspect a part. A print is also known as a blueprint or an engineering drawing.


Return on investment. A comparison that measures investment gains against initial cost. ROI can be used to measure profitability or efficiency.


Shielded metal arc welding. An arc welding process that uses a flux coated rod. SMAW is sometimes referred to as stick welding.

speaking relationship

A connection between two or more parties to a conversation. A speaking relationship determines the required formality, context, and background information required for successful communication.

specialized language

A word or phrase that requires specific cultural or technical knowledge to understand. Specialized language includes jargon, buzzwords, and slang.

submerged arc welding

SAW. An arc welding process that joins two components by melting a consumable electrode and flux with an electric arc underneath a blanket of flux material. Submerged arc welding, also known as subarc, is distinct from other arc welding processes because the arc is not exposed.


A business concept in which two businesses, ideas, or components work better together than apart. Synergy can be used to describe successful idea implementation and work relationships.

thermal cutting

A cutting process that uses heat to remove material from a workpiece. Thermal cutting processes include laser cutting, oxyfuel cutting, and plasma cutting.


A precise arc welding process that uses a nonconsumable tungsten electrode and inert shielding gas. TIG is another name for gas tungsten arc welding or GTAW.


A person who performs welding. Welders join pieces of metal together through the application of heat, pressure, or a combination of energy sources.