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Top 10 Free Online Courses For Improving Communication Skills

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Did you know that only 33% of today’s young adults regularly talk face-to-face?

The rest are all in text messages and social media. This leads to a lack of communication skills as well as not learning critical thinking processes.

Social media platforms are useful tools for exchanging ideas, but they lead to a “read, reflect, forget about it” response that doesn’t create engagement, deep thinking or lengthy conversations.

Some of the reasons for poor communication skills include:

  • Lack of editing: When online, people have the luxury of the backspace key and can edit what they want to say. In real time, it’s harder and things come across wrong
  • Views over Value: Online gives us a much larger audience and sometimes we want more “likes” than thinking about the value of our message.
  • Lack of Experience: They just don’t have enough face-to-face interaction experience or how to approach people and start a conversation.
  • Lack of Critical Thinking: Because of the “delay” in communication, dependency on Google and searches, many are unable to think quickly on their feet.

Poor communication is frustrating in the workplace and can lead to poor performance, lack of teamwork, low morale and reduced profits. Thus, those with poor communication skills often struggle to hold a job – 12.8% according to the Millennial Job Report.

Not to worry, you can improve your communication skills for free with these 10 online courses:

1. Communication Skills

This free course is offered through trainingcoursematerial.com and they offer many different free training materials for you to go through at your own pace.

In this communication skills training, you’ll learn rapport, behavioral styles, barriers to good communication and overcoming them, asking questions, and how to be assertive.

These different lessons are important for effective communication in your personal and professional life. On the job effective communication could make the difference between a sale and a loss, so it’s a very marketable skill to have.

2. Have Better Conversations Today

A free course from Udemy that takes very little time to watch and review.

This course will show you how to be less fearful in social situations, tricks how to engage with another person and how to come up with topics to talk about, and improve your listening skills.

This would definitely help you get used to face-to-face interactions, figure out what to say next, and to positively listen to the other person. Too often people don’t listen to the other person to understand where they’re coming from but instead, we’re busy coming up with our own response.

3. Creative Thinking: Techniques and Tools for Success

This is from the Imperial College of London and you’ll complete this course in 7 weeks with only committing 2 to 4 hours a week. This course shows you several tools to use to increase your innate creativity.

Skills taught include creative thinking techniques, comprehend different scenarios and how to tackle them effectively, brainstorming techniques, and analyzing problems for the best solution.

As I mentioned, in today’s data-filled society, folks are lacking critical thinking skills and how to come up with solutions for common situations.

4. Conflict Resolution

This course is offered by Courses for Success and you’ll learn how to solve conflicts by adapting to various situations, various communication approaches, how to diffuse a tense situation and other anger management and stress relief techniques.

Not only is this good for talking with others, but you’ll learn how to control your own responses to situations. This is a great skill if you’re in customer service, sales, and other people-oriented jobs.

5. Cross-Cultural Competency

Offered by Canvas and you’ll only need a commitment of 2 to 3 hours a week for 5 weeks. This course will teach you about being aware, accepting and respectful of: Global Village, Religious Diversity, Gender and Sexuality, and Disabilities.

The course takes a conversational approach to sometimes sensitive subjects and aims to help you understand and respect one another and be able to function in diverse environments encountered at work, or in social settings.

I added this course to the list as it’s a valuable tool to have when interacting with those who are “different” than you. 60% of employees stated they’ve never received basic conflict management training. Of those who did, 95% said that the training helped them work through conflicts and work for positive outcomes.

6. Beginner’s Guide to Getting Organized

Another short course from Udemy to learn how to be more organized.

You’ll learn how to build your own productive system that works for you. Understand how to set up your own calendar, set up your Notes app, set up your ToDo manager, set up Cloud file storage, and using all these apps effectively for a better work day.

Knowing how to be organized not only reduces stress but effectively increases productivity as you’re not wasting time searching for something or worse – forgetting an important deadline.

Lastly, when you’re organized and less stressed, you’re able to communicate with co-workers, clients, and everyone as you’ll be able to retrieve your information (charts, research, etc.) faster without real interruption to the conversation flow.

7. Empathy & Emotional Intelligence at Work

Offered by the University of California – Berkley and is only 4 weeks long (2 hours a week). You’ll learn skills to strengthen empathy and trust, improve collaboration, and become more innovative and productive at work.

Empathy and emotional intelligence is an important skill as you’ll need to understand and control our own feelings as well as knowing how to tune into the feelings of others.

You’ll learn to understand their perspectives and be able to have constructive social interactions.

8. Time & Stress Management

I added this as a bonus training session to take. Millennials spend 20% of their year being stressed out with 91% stating that stress has negatively impacted their sleep routines. That’s not a healthy way to live is it?

Take this free course to learn how to manage your time, effective delegation, set priorities, deal with time wasters, and steps to reduce stress.

The less stressed you are and the more productive you can be will certainly be a boon to your work environment and it’s been researched that employee happiness and satisfaction at the job leads to higher productivity and increases creativity by 3 times.

That’s something employers will notice and appreciate.

9. How to Build Confidence in Your Abilities

I want today’s youth to take this free course from Udemy as too many times I see them, in person and online, lack confidence in themselves. They often change with the tides and cannot take a stand on their beliefs for fear of being wrong.

You’ll learn how to be confident, start working on your most important goals, and overcome your fear of failure.

Today’s lack of hard work ethics and “participation awards” has bred a confused, uncertain and insecure youth.

This carries negative results into their daily lives and into their work lives. Being unsure of oneself leads to lack of decision making, which leads to poor workmanship and leads to being out of a job in most cases.

10. A Second Language

How can a second language help you when you’re struggling to communicate in your native language? In many different ways:

  • Improved cognitive development: Bilingualism showed more advanced processing of verbal instructions, had better perceptual distinctions, able to find structure in perceptual situations, and had more capacity to reorganize their perceptions in response to feedback.
  • Improved attention span: Bilingualism showed quicker resolutions of experimental problems requiring high levels of attention and control.
  • Improved memory: Bilingualism made it easier to integrate and organize information of two languages thus creating advantages in terms of cognitive abilities (including memory).
  • Improved problem solving: Being bilingual allows one to do better in social problem solving than those who only know one language.

I do suggest learning a language you will have frequent exposure to as the saying goes “you don’t use it, you lose it”.

Another advantage to being bilingual job-wise is that those employees that know a second language usually earn 5% to 20% more money.

Conclusion

Even if you don’t lack soft skills, it’s always a good idea to look for ways to improve yourself – both personally and professionally. Improvements often lead to better living and in some cases, better money.

Some other reading resources for online courses to check out are:

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