Professional Growth and Development > Communication Skills 101

Communication Skills 101

Instructor(s): Deepa Sitaraman
Deepa Sitaraman

Title: Soft Skills Expert

Company: Progia

Deepa Sitaraman has a PhD in English (writing specialty) from the University of South Florida at Tampa, USA. She taught at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio for several years.

Deepa is an expert in communication and interpersonal skills and loves teaching. She has also taught courses in hybrid model using online tools such as WebCT, Moodle, and Blackboard learning systems.

She is a people person and thrives in both face-to-face and online environments of learning and communication.

, Pathak, Mr. Navin
Pathak, Mr. Navin

Title: Senior Partner

Company: Entry India

Contact Information:


Navin Pathak is a co-founder of Entry India, LLC and serves as a Senior Partner with the firm. Navin is an expert in identifying opportunities in India and successfully connecting them with investors.

Co-editor of Entry India's well acclaimed 'India Business and Travel Guide', Navin has also served as a guest speaker at several business events both in the U.S. and in India.

Navin began his business career with a start-up Egenex Business Services where he focused on business development and strategic planning for the firm. Prior to Egenex, Navin worked with premier companies like ITT Industries and Cable & Wireless.

Navin holds a masters in Engineering Management with core focus on Information Security from George Washington University and a bachelors in Electrical Engineering from George Mason University.

Course Description:

Communication is exchange of ideas, information or emotions between two people, the sender and the receiver.

Ability to communicate effectively is the key to success in life: at work, at home, with friends and others. Without effective communication, your message can be misinterpreted leading to misunderstandings, frustration, or worse like getting fired from work, fight with friends or family, etc. The Employers rate communication skill as the most important quality in a candidate for job.

Good communication is not a rocket science - it is a skill that can be acquired by everyone. Taking this course will get you started on the right path. But you will need to apply in your daily life, what you have learned.

It is also helpful to learn how our brains make sense of the world around us and the role feelings, emotions and non-verbal cues play in shaping our social behavior. By understanding these basic instincts, and with practice, we can learn to temper our natural response to emotional situations and achieve better results in our personal relationships.

This course is divided into several modules:

Module 1: Introduction to Communication and Why it Matters
Module 2: Understanding Communication & How it works
Module 3: Elements of Communication
Module 4: Special Situations
Module 4.1: Communication at Workplace
Module 5: Managing our Feelings and Emotions during Communications
Module 6: Self Assessment

Course Sessions:
  • Module 1: Intro to Communication and Why it Matters
  • Content Author(s): Deepa Sitaraman

    Session Description:

    Everything we do involves communication i.e. giving and receiving information. We are communicating all the time, everywhere, with everyone: at home, at school, at work and at play.

    In this Session, Deepa Sitaraman welcomes the Students to this first course on Communication Skills. She introduces and illustrates  the subject of communication and stresses its vital importance in our professional and personal lives.

  • Module 2: Understanding Communication & How it Works
  • Content Author(s): Deepa Sitaraman, Mahendra Pratap

    Session Description:

    The Session starts with examining why and how we communicate. A simple model of communication is presented.

    From this model and its piece parts, we can see what can go wrong with our communication i.e. what are the barriers to communication.

    This leads to a discussion on what we can do to become an effective communicator.

  • Module 3: Elements of Communication
  • Content Author(s): Deepa Sitaraman

    Session Description:

    This Session covers some elements of communication that give additional meaning to our message above and beyond the actual words used. They include:

    • Verbal and non-verbal Cues
    • Listening
    • Feedback
    • Written communication

  • Module 4: Special Situations
  • Content Author(s): Deepa Sitaraman, Navin Pathak

    Session Description:

    In this module, we discuss some special siituations of communication where interpersonal skills and interaction with others are crucial. These special situations include:

    1. Public Speaking and Presentations
    2. Communicating online
    3. Working in Teams
    4. Diverse and global workplace

  • Module 4.1: Communication at Workplace
  • Content Author(s): Mahendra Pratap

    Session Description:

    At workplace, where people of varied personalities, backgrounds, etc. interact, your ability to effectively communicate becomes critical for your success.

  • Module 5: Managing our Feelings and Emotions during Communications
  • Content Author(s): Mahendra Pratap

    Session Description:

    This Module addresses an important subject: managing our emotions and feelings in the act of communication.

    It is a huge topic and countless books and articles have been written on this subject.
    Here we will outline one simple idea to understand the origin and role of emotions in communication. Following Dr. Luskin, we will suggest a simple exercise that is found to be very effective in managing stressful situations.

  • Module 6: Self Assessment
  • Content Author(s): Robin Jacobs, Portland Community College

    Session Description:

    The questions in the handout of this Session are designed to assess your communication skill in every day situations. Several questions are presented in sequence.

    Multiple choices are offered for each question. Think carefully before selecting your answer.
    Then look up the best option recommended by the experts. An explanation why this may be the best choice is also provided.

    Congratulations if you get most of the questions right. If not, reflect on the reasoning given, revise the material from the relevant Session and then try again!

    Finally, Remember that knowing about effective communications is necessary and good but it is not sufficient.

    You need to apply what you have learned. With practice, you are sure to become a master communicator!

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