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Effective Communication Skills

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Effective Communication Skills

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This course is not approved by the California Department of Social Services (CDSS). For courses that are approved to meet the CDSS certification or recertification requirements, please click here.

In this course you will learn ways to become more sensitive to both how you communicate with others and how well you listen. You will also learn tips for resolving conflicts. Finally, suggestions for conducting a good meeting will help you stay on task and facilitate solutions.
Course Information:
  • Online Training Course
  • Credit Hours: 2
  • Concepts on How People Communicate
  • Common Barriers to Communication
Helpful Instructions
 Purchasing Courses for Yourself Purchasing Courses for Yourself:

This Training course is delivered 100% online through our Online Campus. In order to enroll you in a course we will need to collect your First Name, Last Name and Email Address.

When you place your order we will create an account for you, or add the courses to your existing account if you are a return customer. Access to the Online Campus is based on your email address. If you are a return customer, please purchase using the same email address used previously to avoid creating a duplicate account.

The course(s) you purchase will be available within 10 minutes of purchase and your login information will be sent to the email address you provide.
 Purchasing Courses for Others Purchasing Courses for Others:

This Training course is delivered 100% online through our Online Campus. If you are purchasing for others or your employees, please make sure to provide the First Name, Last Name, and Email Address of the person who you are purchasing for.

IMPORTANT: Access to the Online Campus is based on email addresses. If you are purchasing for multiple people, each person must have a unique email address to access the Online Campus. DO NOT USE THE SAME EMAIL ADDRESS FOR DIFFERENT INDIVIDUALS!

When you place your order we will create accounts for each individual you are purchasing for. If you are a return customer, please purchase using the same email address used previously to avoid creating duplicate accounts.

Example: Jim is buying a course for Bob. Jim will provide Bob’s First, Last and Email before the course is added to cart. Jim then uses his personal information for the checkout process.

We understand no one likes to give out their information and that’s why we only require the course attendee’s First Name, Last Name and Email to add the course to your shopping cart.

The course(s) you purchase will be available within 10 minutes of purchase and each person’s login information will be sent to the email address you provide.


One of the keys to success for all persons working in assisted living and residential care is the ability to communicate well with others. Each day we communicate with supervisors, co-workers, residents, families, physicians, and other professionals. Good listening skills, written communication, verbal communication, and non-verbal skills are key to interacting with all people with whom we contact.

By the end of this course participants will be able to:

  • Explain the basic concepts on how people communicate.
  • Contrast the difference between the content and context of a message and include examples of each.
  • Name common barriers to communication.
  • Identify actions you can do to demonstrate active listening.
  • Explain the 10 rules of listening to improve your listening skills with others.
  • Provide examples of non-verbal behaviors that impact communication.
  • Explain the ways you can activity improve how you send messages to others.
  • Discuss how to properly talk to physicians, pharmacists, and other professionals.
  • Discuss how to properly talk to families.
  • Demonstrate the best way to resolve conflicts at work.
  • Explain the advantages and disadvantages of written communication.
  • List tips to remember whenever writing any form of communication.
  • Discuss the proper way to organize and write a business communication letter.
  • Describe how to properly conduct a meeting at work.

Course Outline

Hour One

  • I. Introduction to Communication
  • a. Problems occur many times due to poor communication
  • b. What is Communication?
  • i. What we say or write
  • ii. What we hear or read
  • iii. How our body acts while we are speaking or listening
  • iv. Is the exchange and flow of information and ideas from one person to another
  • c. Takes Two People
  • i. Sender
  • ii. Receiver
  • d. Process of communication
  • i. Sender
  • ii. Encoding
  • iii. Mode of Communication
  • iv. Decoding
  • v. Receiver
  • vi. Feedback
  • e. Effective Communication
  • i. Only occurs if the receiver understands the exact information of idea that sender intends to transmit
  • II. Communication: Content and Context
  • a. Content: the actual words or symbols used
  • b. Context: the way the message is stated
  • III. Non-Verbal Behaviors
  • a. Eye Contact
  • b. Facial Expressions
  • c. Gestures
  • d. Posture and body orientation
  • e. Proximity
  • f. Vocal
  • g. Is It Me?
  • i. If you often feel misunderstood, it may be helpful to assess how you send messages
  • IV. Barriers to Communication
  • a. Eight common barriers to communication
  • i. Culture, background, and bias
  • ii. Noise
  • iii. Ourselves
  • iv. Perception
  • v. Message
  • vi. Environmental
  • vii. Smothering
  • viii. Stress
  • b. Filters
  • c. How well do we listen?
  • i. Hearing vs. Listening
  • ii. Passive vs. Active Listening
  • iii. Feedback
  • iv. Rules of Listening
  • 1. Stop Talking
  • 2. Create a Space
  • 3. Hold Your Judgments
  • 4. Don’t Be a Label Reader
  • 5. Open Your Mind
  • 6. Focus
  • 7. Visualize
  • 8. Remember Names
  • 9. Summarize and Ask Questions
  • 10. Be Aware
  • V. Talking With Professionals and Families
  • a. Conversation Tips When Speaking with a Professional
  • b. Conversation Tips When Speaking with a Resident’s/Client’s Family
  • VI. Resolving Conflicts at Work
  • a. First, decide if you want to resolve the conflict
  • b. Speak to the other person calmly and rationally
  • c. Be sensitive to your body language, not just your words
  • d. Listen to the other person to hear his/her side/feelings
  • e. Paraphrase the points of other person
  • f. After acknowledging and/or paraphrasing the other person’s feelings, state your own feelings
  • g. Communicate clearly what you need and offer positive suggestions
  • h. If the conflict cannot be resolved between the two of you, you may choose to speak to your supervisor
  • i. Conflicts are best either resolved. If resolution is not possible, it is acceptable to “agree to disagree.”
  • VII. Written Communication
  • a. Shares many of the same principles as other forms, but also has several differences
  • b. Business purposes
  • i. Memos
  • ii. Emails
  • iii. Faxes
  • iv. Letters
  • v. Brochures
  • vi. Etc
  • c. Advantages of Written Communication
  • d. Disadvantage of Written Communication
  • e. Basic Writing Tips
  • i. Keep it simple
  • ii. Use correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation
  • iii. Organize communication logically
  • iv. Express your ideas so the reader understands
  • v. Be accurate with facts and statements
  • vi. Use specific facts, figures, examples, and visual aids when appropriate to clarify your message
  • vii. Know when written communication should be used rather than oral communication
  • viii. Avoid the use of slang, jargon, abbreviations, and symbols
  • ix. Clichés should be avoided, or at the very least, used with caution
  • x. Numbers should be expressed as words when under 10 or used to start a sentence
  • xi. Quotation marks should be placed around directly quoted speech or text around titles of publications. (Cite the source of quotes)
  • VIII. Conducting A Meeting At Work
  • a. Leading a Meeting
  • b. Keep meeting productive
  • i. Determine who needs to attend
  • ii. Send out a copy of the proposed agenda along with meeting notice
  • iii. Set a definite start and end time
  • iv. Open the meeting by welcoming attendees and thanking them for their time
  • v. Start the meeting on time
  • vi. Review the goals and agenda at the beginning of each meeting
  • vii. Utilize visual aids
  • viii. Encourage discussion and new ideas
  • ix. Stay on task
  • x. Leave 5-10 minutes at the end to summarize conclusions
  • xi. Follow up with circulating a copy of the minutes as a reminder


Josh Allen, RN; Laura Gumban, LVN; Anne Zimmerman, RN

Josh Allen is a Registered Nurse with over 20 years of experience in senior living. As the Director of InTouch at Home, Josh oversees all aspects of business development, care, services, and operations for the organization. As a part of the SRG Senior Living family of companies, InTouch at Home delivers personalized care and services to clients living in senior living communities as well as private residences across three states.

Josh also serves on the board of the American Assisted Living Nurses Association, and represents AALNA on the boards of the Center for Excellence in Assisted Living and Coalition of Geriatric Nursing Organizations. Josh has previously served as President and CEO of Care and Compliance Group, a leading training solutions provider.

Laura Gumban, LVN is currently the Resident Care Coordinator at the Eskaton Lodge Brentwood in Brentwood California. There, she is responsible or budget maintenance; she is a liaison with the medical community; she interviews, hires, schedules, and supervises clinical staff; she completes resident assessments and quarterly evaluations; and is the director of nursing duties. Laura has been with Eskaton Lodge Brentwood since 2006. Previously she was an MDS Nurse for the Elmhaven Care Center in Stockton, California and was a MDS/TILES Nurse at Heritage Oakes Estates in Balliger Texas.

Anne Zimmerman, RN has worked for Community Education, LLC in California since 2003. There she is responsible for teaching state approved re-certification courses to administrators of group homes; adult residential facilities; and residential care facilities for the elderly. Her background is in consulting, training, and directing care.

Additional Information

Canonical Link administrator-certification-training/administrator-training/online-continuing-education/effective-communication-skills
Course Type Online Course

Effective Communication Skills