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BBUS 3631: Open Communication

This competency-based, paced course teaches the theories and strategies that sustain and foster effective communication skills for management. It provides students with the professional skills and knowledge to communicate successfully on many levels, including writing, speaking, conducting meetings, giving presentations and interpersonal dialogues, and using electronic media. Students are given the opportunity to work with various techniques to learn valuable communication tools to successfully support them in their managerial careers and personal lives.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Increase your ability to communicate with intention,
  • Develop effective listening skills,
  • Practice your conversation skills to foster interactive dialogue.
  • Develop facilitation strategies for getting results and building trust, plus giving and receiv┬Čing support.
  • Choose optimal communication channels and strategies.
  • Improve your group communication skills to make effective presentations, facilitate useful meetings, and write clear communications.

Course topics

Module 1: Opening Moves

  • Distinguish and practise different intentions for communicating.
  • Identify optimal ways to communicate in your workplace.
  • Be open to new perspectives and perceptions.
  • Ask for feedback on your communication skills, be open to learning from it, and incorporate this feedback to focus yourself in the course.
  • Set criteria and make choices about which communication skills you want to improve.
  • Plan and prepare formal communication.

Module 2: Listen Up!

  • Identify genuine listening skills with curiosity, willingness, and the capacity to change or be surprised.
  • Uncover hidden messages in your face-to-face conversations through learning to read body language, voice tones, and facial expressions.
  • Solicit information and feedback to help to learn about and understand your audience.
  • Demonstrate active listening.

Module 3: Genuine Conversation

  • Develop and demonstrate ways to improve your conversations.
  • Analyze where conversations can and do go wrong.
  • Use the principles of dialogue to facilitate genuine conversation.
  • Learn when and how to speak up appropriately.

Module 4: Mediums for Your Messages

  • Learn to choose the optimal communication channels and strategies for the task at hand.
  • Develop communication strategies for obtaining results, building trust, and receiving support.
  • Analyze three arenas for communicating in groups: effective presentations, effective meetings, and effective writing.

Final Project: Bringing It All Together

  • Demonstrate your learning, understanding, and competence in regard to the learning outcomes described in this course.
  • Reflect on your actions, learning, and experiences.
  • Plan for your future learning about, and continuing improvement of, your communication skills.
  • Complete your Final Project.

Required text and materials

Students will receive the following:

  1. Communicating at Work: Strategies for Success in Business and the Professions w/ CONNECT online access code. Alder, R.B., Maresh-Fuehrer, M., Elmhorst, J. and Lucas, K. McGraw Hill Companies Inc. (2019) 12th ed.
    Type: Text book. ISBN: 978-1-260-19211-7

Students will need to source the following on their own for a cost of approximately of $25.00:

  1. Solving Tough Problems: An Open Way of Talking, Listening and Creating New Realities. Kahane, A. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc. (2007).


To successfully complete this course, students must achieve a passing grade of 50% or higher on the overall course, and 50% or higher on the final mandatory project.

Module 1 10%
Module 2 12%
Module 3 13%
Module 4 15%
Final Project (mandatory) 50%
Total 100%

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.

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