Skills you'll gain: Collaboration, Communication, Leadership and Management, Entrepreneurship, Adaptability, Business Communication, Business Psychology, Conflict Management, Decision Making, Human Resources, Marketing, Negotiation, Professional Development, Sales, Leadership Development
Beginner · Course · 1-4 Weeks
Skills you'll gain: Research and Design, Entrepreneurship, Creativity, Leadership and Management, Business Psychology, Human Learning, Problem Solving, Business Analysis, Collaboration, Communication, Critical Thinking, Innovation, Strategy and Operations, Design and Product, Product Development
Beginner · Course · 1-3 Months
Are you looking to improve your communication skills? Take advantage of some of the best free communication skills courses available online such as Negotiation Skills, Career Development, Creative Thinking Techniques and Tools for Success, Business English Skills--How to navigate tone, formality, directness in emails, and Public Speaking. Each of these courses will provide you with the necessary tools to become a more effective communicator.
For those just starting out, a great place to learn essential communication skills are the online courses offered through Coursera, such as Modes of Science Communication, Feedback Fundamentals, Wharton Communication Skills, The Softer Side of Science Communication and Teamwork Skills: Effective Communication. Aimed at beginners, these courses provide valuable guidance, with their compelling content and wide variety of real-world application, to become a successful communicator.
For those wanting to perfect their advanced communication skills, there are several relevant courses available. Emotional Intelligence: Cultivating Immensely Human Interactions covers the biology and psychology of emotions in the context of communication, while Business English Skills: How to Navigate Tone, Formality, and Directness in Emails provides an outline of etiquette rules to understanding and shaping formality, tone, and directness in your interactions. There are also courses that feature application-centric rewards, such as Negotiation Skills and Effective Communication, which provides negotiation and communication skills and Business English: Introduction, offers a comprehensive summary of the most important aspects of the English language. For those looking to apply communication skills in a specific field, Marketing and Sales English: Communication Skills for Professionals provides insight into the specific communication skills pertinent to the sales and marketing profession.
Communication skills are some of the most broadly-applicable and impactful talents you can develop. This topic encompasses both written and verbal communication, and includes many interrelated, more specialized subtopics such as business writing, email writing, presentations, public speaking, interviewing, and negotiation.
Improving your communications skills is important because it can help your career in virtually any field. There are few jobs that don’t require emails or other written forms of communication, and most jobs require working with a team and expressing yourself clearly to colleagues. Communication skills also help you interview for a job - or negotiate for a raise.
Making yourself understood isn’t just useful for your professional life. Effectively expressing who you are, how you feel, and what you want is important to achieving satisfaction in your personal life as well. And regardless of whether you’re a native English speaker or learning it as a second language, communication is a skill that continues developing over the course of your entire life - and you can always improve.
Strong communications skills can improve your prospects in just about any career, whether you’re working as part of a team of software developers or in the business world. They are particularly important for management roles at companies, since the ability to direct and motivate personnel depends on a keen sense of what to say and how to say it.
There are also careers that are centered around communications. If you have strong writing skills and an eye for a good story, you can work as a journalist or author. If you can distill complex scientific, computing, or similar types of technical content into clear, useful formats such as instruction manuals or journal articles, you can become a technical writer.
If your communication talents are more about building interpersonal connections and shaping narratives through both the written and spoken word, you can work as a public relations (PR) specialist. PR specialists today must be adept at using social media and other internet platforms to succeed, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the demand for communications professionals broadly to continue to grow as new platforms emerge.
Yes! Coursera offers a wide range of courses and Specializations that can improve your communications skills. Regardless of whether you’re a native English speaker or learning English as a second language, and whether you’re looking to build general skills in topics like writing or more specialized topics like delivering presentations, Coursera has choices from great schools like Georgia Tech, the University of Michigan, and the University of Colorado Boulder.
And, with virtual live sessions, office hours, and team projects, you can be assured that online courses on Coursera can help you develop spoken as well as written communications skills. Indeed, with online communication becoming more important than ever, learning online is a perfect way to practice and improve these skills remotely, on a flexible schedule, and at a lower cost than on-campus courses.
The skills and experience that you might need to already have before starting to learn communication skills would be good listening skills and hearing what people are really saying, along with a willingness and enthusiasm to improve your language-speaking skills and written communication skills. It may be helpful to have a work background in the communications field, whether in agencies that help companies communicate well online and offline or in branding agencies that help companies with their mission and improve overall corporate focus. Having these skills and experience can help you on your path to learning better communications skills for your forward advancement in business and in your personal life.
The kind of people best suited for work that involves communication skills are people who are strategic, creative, and analytical. People with good communications skills are often well suited to be leaders in their field, due to their strong ability to connect with other employees, senior executives, and others. These types of extroverts can excel with communication skills in creative writing, business writing, video creation, and using the internet for communications research. Those people who excel in communications roles learn how to listen well, ask thoughtful questions, and understand what others might want strategically in messaging, as well as the type of medium that makes sense for the best communications.
Learning communication skills may be right for you if you're inspired and excited about things like writing, grammar, leadership, business presentations, the internet, public speaking, and graphic design. These subjects are all parts of the toolbox used by professional communicators in a wide range of industries. To become a good communicator, it’s important to be able to combine and use skills in reading, writing, listening, understanding, and comprehending different types of communications. Once you can practice these at work or school, then you may find that people respond well to your communications in your personal and business life.