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Management and communication skills BA1060

Half course

The aims of this course are to develop an understanding of the theory and practice of effective interpersonal communication - and how it relates to the process of management in the workplace.

This course is more than that. It’s also about essential life skills that will help you throughout your university career – and beyond into your career. We want to get you ready for the world of work in the second decade of the 21st century. We want you to see the class as a rehearsal for work and therefore managing your own performances in teams during the workshops and more importantly in the team assignment.

To that end the course has a number of organisational partners from industry and commerce, keen to help you understand the challenges involved. While a lot of their involvement is behind the scenes, they will be open to internship applications so you make the most of your long vacations by getting really challenging work experiences. They will also be providing the challenges that make up the group projects and helping with the feedback process.

On completion of the course, you should be able to demonstrate the practical knowledge, understanding and skills of the effective business communicator.

Topics covered

  1. Email, vmail, 3G mobile phones, text messages, intranet, Internet, extranet, CNN, digital radio, RDS, DVD, the list of communication challenges grows by the day… Managers are more confused than ever with the range of communication channels they have at their command. This course on Management Communication Skills is designed with a practical approach in mind. Yes, you will need to know (a little) theory. But the key is to practise skills and develop real confidence in your ability to communicate with others in a work context. And some of the issues may just turn out to be useful life skills too.

  2. This topic on Written Communication provides an opportunity for you to think about how you should approach the writing of emails, memos, letters and other vital short documents. The next topic on Report Writing provides a useful follow-up for those producing formal reports. By the end of the topic you should know what elements are vital to the different types of written communication, feel comfortable that you can easily use the models discussed and have already practiced some of the skills needed.

  3. If you want to get someone to do something, what would you do…? Go and see them? Talk to them on the phone? Send them an email? Or write them a report? We must make sure that in writing a report, we are not wasting our time. In this topic, you will be learning how to create effective reports.

  4. This topic is about the skills needed to maximise meetings, interviewing and negotiating. The aim is not to develop an elaborate, bureaucratic structure, but instead to arm you with the skills and techniques needed to make meetings as effective as possible for you.

  5. According to Henry Mintzberg, a ‘Negotiator’ is a key ‘decisional’ role for managers and anyone involved in working with other people.

  6. Many of the most significant moments in your career will involve presentations. Some will be very short – a job interview, for example. Some will be much longer, such as the presentation of a report, a staff training session or a client presentation.

  7. This topic first looks at the different types of business interview. It then focuses on recruitment interviews and good interview technique.

  8. Before you start this topic consider these two questions: Question: What percentage of the working day is spent on verbal communication? Answer: 69% Question: What percentage of the meaning of a spoken message comes from the words? Answer: 7%These alarming statistics would suggest that a lot of our communication effort may be misguided. We focus on words at the expense of all the other ways in which people exchange information with each other. Communication is a complex process. We need to know underlying issues and have a body of ‘practical’ theory to help us.

  9. We live in an age where communication is changing radically. No examination of the subject is complete without considering our options and their implications. While most of the changes have encouraged the quantity of communication, there are some issues around quality. Beware, more is sometimes less.

Learning outcomes

  • Devise and deliver persuasive presentations, using visual aids and speaking skills
  • Plan and conduct productive meetings
  • Plan and control successful negotiations
  • Plan and write effective communications, most notably letters, emails and memos

Assessment

This module is assessed by a two hour unseen written examination.

Essential reading

  • Business Communications: A Cultural & Strategic Approach (Rouse)

Taster study material