Communication for Results

  • Clearly and effectively transmits technical and business concepts, ideas, feelings, opinions, and conclusions orally and in writing
  • Listens attentively and for comprehension
  • Reinforces words through empathetic body language and tone
Proficiency Levels – What it looks like
Being Developed
Speaks and writes to peers in ways that support transactional activities Converses with, and writes to, peers in ways that support transactional and administrative activities Conducts discussions with and writes memoranda to all levels of colleagues and peer groups in ways that support troubleshooting and problem solving Converses with, writes reports for, and creates/delivers presentations to all levels of colleagues and peer groups in ways that support problem solving and planning Converses with, writes strategic documents for, and creates/delivers presentations to internal business leaders as well as external groups
Shares information and asks questions prior to taking action Seeks and shares information and opinions Seeks and shares relevant information, opinions, and judgments Seeks a consensus with business partners Leads discussions with senior leaders and external partners in ways that support strategic planning and decision-making
Explains the immediate context of the situation, asks questions with follow-ups, and solicits advice prior to taking action Handles conflict empathetically Debates opinions, tests understanding, and clarifies judgments Seeks a consensus with business leaders
Explains the context of interrelated situations, asks probing questions, and solicits multiple sources of advice prior to taking action when appropriate Brings conflict into the open empathetically Debates opinions, tests understanding, and clarifies judgments
Explains the context of multiple interrelated situations, asks searching, probing questions, and solicits expert advice prior to taking action and making recommendations Identifies underlying differences and resolves conflict openly and empathetically
Explains the context of multiple, complex interrelated situations
Asks searching, probing questions, plays devil’s advocate, and solicits authoritative perspectives and advice prior to approving plans and recommendations

What it Doesn’t Look Like

  • Listening and responding to the content of the message and not considering the emotion behind the words
  • Using jargon or abbreviations that are unfamiliar to your audience
  • Overusing email to communicate, especially sensitive messages
  • Providing little or no supporting data
  • Smoothing over or ignoring conflict in the interest of maintaining a false harmony
  • Asking questions in a judging manner
  • Withholding information without reasonable justification

Questions to Consider

  • Is this the most appropriate medium, method, approach for communicating this message?
  • What knowledge do I want to share, or action do I want to influence as a result of my communication?
  • Are my communications clear, concise, logical and relevant? Do I receive requests for clarification or additional detail?
  • Am I sharing communications with all necessary stakeholders?
  • Do I spend more time talking or listening?
  • What questions should I ask to obtain additional information or verify understanding?

Learning and Development Activities

Choose one or two activities that support your preferred learning style

Select activities by learning style
Doing Listening Observing Training Reading

(By clicking on the symbol, those activities relating to the learning style will appear)


Suggestions for activities you can do on the job


  • Before creating a communication, identify your audience’s needs and list questions they may have. Be sure to address these questions in your message
  • Record yourself making a presentation. Listen to what you say and how you are expressing yourself. Does your message come across clearly?
  • Create your next written communication by first preparing an outline of your objective and main points to support your objective. Then include only essential details that support your main points.
  • Think of a conversation recently when your emotions got in the way. Imagine the situation only this time you are aware your emotions are rising and this time you pause, and concentrate on regaining control of your emotions before speaking. Try this approach next time you feel your emotions rising.

With Peers

  • Participate in teams, committees, task forces and take opportunities to provide written reports and make oral presentations. Ask for feedback on your communications.
  • Ask a peer to give you feedback on oral or written communication you have prepared. Ask them what they heard the object and key points to be.
  • To asses how effectively you may be listening, ask questions and paraphrase or summarize to verify you have understood your peer correctly.
  • Ask clarifying questions to understand the other person’s complete message – feelings as well as content.

With your Manager/Team Lead

  • Request feedback on your oral and written communications. Make it clear that you are looking for constructive feedback to build on your strengths and improve in other areas.
  • Ask for feedback on your use of tact and sensitivity when communicating with others. In particular, ask them to focus on how you handle receiving and giving corrective feedback. How well were you able to control your reactions when feeling stressed, upset or angry?
Listening and Observing

Here are some ideas that can be pursued on the job, with some coordination. Use these reflective questions to gain more from your learning experience:

    • What are three key things I have learned from this experience?
    • What will I do differently in my work as a result of this experience?
  • Think of three people who are effective at communicating. Choose one from work, one you know outside of work, and one distinguished figure. Observe them in action. What do they do that is particularly effective? Consider both verbal and non verbal techniques.
  • Observe someone at work who is an effective communicator. How do they graciously refuse a request, consult with others, disseminate information, progress issues, and ask questions with a view to understanding? Take note of the skills they use and ask how they acquired these skills.
Training Programs

UBC Training Programs offered through Organization Development and Learning

  • Effective Communication: Navigating Today’s Communication Challenges
  • Cross-Cultural Communication and Conflict Resolution
  • Communication with Compassion: Words that Work

For UBCO course offerings, please visit the Events page.

Consider working with a coach following training, to aid in anchoring your learning:


Choose to read one or two of the books listed below. Consider the reflective questions to enhance your learning:

    • What are the key points the author is making?
    • What are three key things I have learned from this reading?
    • What will I do differently in my work as a result of gaining this knowledge?
    • Essentials of Negotiation; (2010), R. Lewicki, B.Barry & D. Saunders; McGraw-Hill/Irwin. Explores the major concepts and theories of the psychology of bargaining and negotiation, and the dynamics of interpersonal and inter-group conflict and its resolution. It addresses issues such as critical negotiation sub-processes, multiparty negotiations, and the influence of international and cross-cultural differences on the negotiation process.
    • The Handbook of Negotiation and Culture; (2004), M. J. Gelfand & J. M. Brett; Stanford University Press. Provides an in-depth review of negotiation theory, new insight into cross-cultural perspectives, questioning assumptions, expanding constructs, and identifying limits not apparent from working exclusively within one culture.
    • How To Be Better At Writing Reports and Proposals (2005), P. Forsyth; Kogan Page. Provides practical advice, checklist, personal testing tasks to improve business writing so you can get your messages across on paper, and present proposals in a clear and percussive manner.
    • Communicating at Work: Principles and Practices for Business and the Professions; (2009), R. Adler & J. Marquardt Elmhhorst; McGraw-Hill. This book takes a pragmatic approach that applies scholarly principles to real world business situations. It contains a strong multicultural focus, emphasis on working in teams, and thorough coverage of presentational speaking , as well as Technology Tip boxes, Case Study sidebars, coverage of intercultural communication, new communication networks, and more.
    • Communication in Organizations; (2005), C. Leech & K. Williams; Elsevier Science and Technology Books, Inc. Designed to be practical, stimulating and challenging, this workbook includes current management concepts, the changing legal framework in which managers operate and the impact of technology in the work environment.
    • Leadership Communication; (2005), D. Barrett; McGraw-Hill/Irwin. This book addresses core communication skills of developing strategy, analyzing an audience, writing all types of business documents and correspondence, and designing and delivering effective PowerPoint presentations – all from a leadership perspective. The book also examines emotional intelligence, cultural literacy, meeting management, and team leadership, as well as internal and external organizational communication.
  • Staff

    Managers/Team Leads

    Additional Questions

    Please contact your Human Resources Representative with any additional questions.

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