How can we talk more effectively in the workplace? This course introduces linguistic techniques to enhance business communication.

46,439 enrolled on this course

Office scene
  • Duration

    2 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours

Think about the conversations you have had in your workplace over the past few months. Do you ever come out of meetings wishing you had said something differently, felt misunderstood or not been given credit for your ideas? Do you have difficulty talking to people more senior than you? How do you handle difficult conversations at work? ‘How to read your boss’ will provide you with practical tools by introducing you to the world of workplace communication through linguistics.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 13 seconds Welcome to the University of Nottingham. I’m Louise Mullany, a professional communications specialist from the Centre for Research and Applied Linguistics. This is How to Read Your Boss. Do you find conversations with some colleagues more difficult than others? Do you ever come out of meetings feeling that you’ve been misunderstood, or that you haven’t been given the time you wanted to express your ideas? Do you ever find it hard to explain yourself to your boss or with others at a more senior level than you? Do you find yourself ever wondering what your boss is actually asking you to do? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this course is definitely for you.

Skip to 0 minutes and 55 seconds Along with colleagues, I’ve spent the last 15 years investigating communication styles in a wide range of workplaces, from small to medium sized enterprises right through to large multinationals. How to Read Your Boss draws upon the findings of this research. The course will provide a basic introduction to a sample of linguistic toolkits to help you produce a quick and effective analysis of your own and others’ talk. You will also have a suite of different strategies to draw upon, which can enhance your persuasive presence and impact in the future. This course is unique, as it is based upon the analysis of authentic business conversations that have actually taken place.

Skip to 1 minute and 37 seconds How to Read Your Boss provides access to cutting edge academic knowledge and practical activities based on how people really talk at work. I hope that you will take the opportunity to join us, and discover how linguistics can help you read both yourself and your boss.

What topics will you cover?

• Language and culture in the workplace

• Language and identity in the workplace

• Effective communication in teams

• Effective management of rapport at work

• The role of non-verbal communication, including body language and gesture

• Language and power in the workplace

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Assess the communication styles of one’s own workplace
  • Reflect upon the most effective communication styles in one’s own workplace
  • Reflect upon how communication can be enhanced within one’s own workplace
  • Record instances of best practice in workplace communication
  • Apply knowledge and understanding of workplace communication in a range of different settings

Who is the course for?

How to Read Your Boss will be useful for anyone working in businesses or organisations in public, private or third sectors, anywhere in the world, including managers and those with leadership responsibility. No previous experience of linguistics or previous courses is required. It is designed to assess the effectiveness of the communication styles in your workplace and identify the type of communications culture where you work. It will offer alternative strategies for future business talk. If you want to explore this topic in more depth, the University Of Nottingham has a suite of follow-on online CPD courses on business communication covering a range of topics, delivered by international experts in the field.

Who will you learn with?

Professor Louise Mullany is Professor of Sociolinguistics and Founder and Director of Lingustic Profiling for Professionals at the University of Nottingham.

Who developed the course?

The University of Nottingham

The University of Nottingham is committed to providing a truly international education, inspiring students with world-leading research and benefitting communities all around the world.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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