Skip to 0 minutes and 1 secondSPEAKER: What do employers want? Employers want their employees to have the ability to communicate verbally, in writing, with colleagues, customers, clients, other organizations, and the public. What is so important about good communication? Communication helps build effective relationships with colleagues and business partners. It helps you become a better team player, contribute more to innovative projects, influence decisions, and get your ideas and proposals accepted. It helps employers improve and manage relationships with customers and resolve conflict. So good communication helps to make the most of opportunities. And in this course, we look at key principles to improve your communication in any situation, and strategies to help increase your effectiveness in different areas. In week 1, face to face and virtual meetings.

Skip to 1 minute and 4 secondsWeek 2, presentations. Week 3, on email a through social media. Week 4, in written documents and using online tools. Throughout these four weeks, you will have the opportunity to discuss strategies you learn with your fellow students, and check your understanding with a wide range of activities.

Become an effective communicator

Hello and welcome to Business Fundamentals: Effective Communication.

This course is one of eight available in the ‘Business and Finance Fundamentals’ program. When you upgrade on all eight course and qualify for a Certificate of Achievement on each, you can earn academic credit at Level 1 of The Open University’s Business Management BA degree, subject to registration and separate fee for a linked Open University assessment module.

You will always need to complete at least 90% of each course and score an average of 70% or above on any tests to qualify for a Certificate of Achievement, regardless of whether you upgrade or buy the certificate separately.

Over the next four weeks you will learn what business communication consists of and consider its challenges. You will learn that these challenges can be overcome by developing an awareness of context with respect to your company and the broader cultural setting, alongside your purpose for communicating and intended audience. You will look at strategies to increase your effectiveness in different forms of communication including face-to-face and virtual meetings in Week 1, email and social media communication in Week 2, presentations in Week 3 and written documents and online tools in Week 4.

This week you will look at meetings and what features make them effective. You will learn how to interact appropriately with other participants and how to use effective language. In a global economy, meetings often involve people from different cultures and backgrounds; you will learn how important it is to be sensitive to cultural differences.

The author of this course is Anna Calvi. Anna is an Open University tutor and materials writer. She has supported learners on the popular course ‘Professional communication skills for business studies’ for seven years, helping them to express themselves effectively both in workplace and university settings.

Who will support your learning?

The lead educator on this course is Hilary Collins. Hilary is a strategic design academic with research interests in the economic and cultural role of the creative industries. She teaches Open University courses in Strategy and Design Thinking.

To support this process we will have two mentors, Elke StJohn and Rob Tumilty. You can access the FutureLearn profiles of those supporting your learning and follow them.

A key feature of the learning experience on a FutureLearn course is the idea of social learning. Our learning is at its best when we share and debate ideas with fellow learners, and we therefore encourage you to ask questions and engage with others via comments and participation in the discussions that take place.

If this is the first FutureLearn course you have studied, you might find it useful to visit the Using Futurelearn page.

Introduce yourself

Before you move onto the next step, click the ‘comments’ icon and spend a few minutes introducing yourself, including a brief outline of your motivations for joining this course. Find out about your fellow learners by reading and replying to other comments. When you’re ready to move on, mark this step as complete before selecting ‘next’.

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Business Fundamentals: Effective Communication

The Open University