Clear Communication

This learning series is designed to help you improve your spoken, written and interpersonal communication skills. Courses support employees in developing skils to enhance their use of language, active listening, audience influence and confidence when communicating. Learners will gain tools and techniques for understanding different communication styles, approaches to conflict and ways of interpreting meaning. Learning outcomes support several of UVic's competencies and Strategic Plan priorities.

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Download the Employee Learning Program Series Overview

Clear Communication

Clear Communication Series Snapshot (4 core courses):

Write for the Workplace: Enhance your writing using plain language, clear writing techniques, and basic grammar.

Speak to Engage Others: Speak to groups in an engaging and effective way.

Interpersonal Communication: Communicate effectively to build relationships with peers and within teams.

Holding Difficult Conversations: Step confidently into conversations that matter.

One elective: Select one elective course (3.5 hours of learning each) from the list or submit an alternative for consideration.

Learning Themes

  • Taking steps to prepare yourself, for the context and audience in communication
  • Practicing self-awareness and self-management in real time when communicating
  • Acknowledging the impact of various communication styles on yourself and others
  • Selecting and applying the appropriate technique for communicating in a particular context
  • Building awareness of how you make meaning from various communication cues, and how these impact your behaviour

Intended Audience

All UVic employees are welcome to participate in this learning series. Those with personal and professional development goals pertaining to writing, public speaking, influencing or improved interpersonal relationships may have a particular interest.

Detailed Course Descriptions

Write For The Workplace: Enhance your writing using plain language, clear writing techniques, and basic grammar.

A short time ago, many of us were able to make it through our workday without having to write more than a few instructional memos or notes to co-workers. Now, a day without having to initiate or respond to written communications is almost like a vacation.

This increased need for writing, both in and out of the workplace, requires people to improve their writing skills to be heard and understood. Strong writing skills lead to smoother communications and fewer misunderstandings.

This engaging, interactive workshop is designed to teach you the plain language principles that will help you make your written communications easy to read and understand. Through demonstrations and hands-on exercises, you’ll gain confidence in your writing and learn which grammar gremlins (including punctuation) make the difference between clarity and confusion.

Learning Objectives

  • Discover the benefits of plain language writing
  • Become familiar with and practice the key principles of plain language writing
  • Identify key grammar and punctuation errors in your writing and correct them
  • Have greater clarity and impact

Speak To Engage Others: Speak to groups in an engaging and effective way.

Standing up in front of groups to convey information or to help others discuss and collaborate, can be a very worthwhile endeavor. It's also something that takes practice to build skills and increase our own comfort level.

In this workshop, we will talk about getting our message across to participants in engaging and effective ways that keep their attention and help them to increase their learning.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify the goal and purpose of your presentation
  • Prepare your presentation using a planning framework
  • Arrange the space and set the tone for a successful presentation
  • Employ techniques to reflect on and gather feedback from participants in order to revise presentations in the future

Interpersonal Communication: Communicate effectively to build relationships with peers and within teams.

During this interactive workshop, participants will learn insights into their own communication style, and participate in exercises that include delivering positive and negative feedback, improving listening skills, and more. Participants will also explore perceptions, and preconceived ideas that impact day-to-day interactions and communication. This workshop is for anyone who wants to improve the communication skills to become more effective in the workplace.

Learning Objectives

  • Discuss the importance of communication skills and the impact that poor communication has on a workplace
  • Review the different ways people communicate and the common barriers to communication
  • Explore the 'Ladder of Interference' and how it impacts the way we communicate with others
  • Understand three effective communication models and how to use them to give effective feedback to staff and colleagues using the 'Experience Cube'
  • Recognize the three levels of listening and practicing this skill

Holding Difficult Conversations: Step confidently into conversations that matter.

Many of us view conflict as something to be avoided, but what if you had the confidence to step into the conversations that matter and build better relationships? When conflict is ignored or handled badly, it can waste energy, lower productivity, and damage relationships. When conflict is addressed skillfully and with positive intent, it creates opportunities to build trust and transform relationships for the better. 

This course will help you understand the dynamics of conflict and increase your self-awareness and self-management during conflict. You will learn how to express yourself clearly, minimize defensiveness in others, and seek mutual understanding of the issues underlying the conflict. With confidence, positive intent, and a bit of practice, you can transform conflict into a conversation that builds better relationships at work and in life.

Learning Objectives

  • Integrate your own reasons to address conflict within the context of the conflict competency framework at UVic
  • Build skills to manage your emotions in conflict before, during, and after a difficult conversation
  • Plan for, invite, and set the environment to hold a difficult conversation well
  • Apply the Experience Cube to plan to speak and to listen when a conflict is present
  • Practice skills of active listening, empathy, paraphrasing and uncovering common interests in difficult conversations
  • Uphold the value of closing a difficult conversation with the relationships intact and the next interaction in mind

Clear Communication Series Electives

  • Choose one elective (3.5 hours of learning each) from a list or submit an alternative for consideration.

Elective options from the SHIFT U program:

  • Email Etiquette
  • Mediator in a Box
  • Make Meetings Matter
  • Discover Personality Using Lumina Spark
  • Cultural Intelligence in the Workplace
  • Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace
  • Workshops offered by Communications & Marketing (ex, Social Media training)
  • Workshops offered by EQHR (ex. Foundations in Equity, Diversity & Inclusion, Anti-Racism training, etc.)