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389500: The Dynamics of Interpersonal Communication
COMCTN-X 482.7

  • Winter 2023
  • Section 1
  • 4 Credits
  • 01/10/2023 to 03/21/2023
  • Modified 02/01/2023

Meeting Times

This course is fully IN-PERSON meeting on Tuesdays, 7pm - 10pm, starting January 10 - March 21, 2023. Meeting location is UCLA Extension's Gayley Center, Room 119. The address is 1145 Gayley Ave, Los Angeles, CA  90024

Details on accessing Canvas will be emailed to you after completing enrollment. Courses in Canvas are typically accessible 2 days before the course start date. If applicable, instructions for accessing and using Zoom will also be provided in Canvas.

Canvas & Zoom Info



In today's fast-paced, highly competitive business world, it is more important than ever to recognize and study the significant role communication plays in our business lives. How well we communicate greatly determines the success of our performance on the job and our level of personal job satisfaction. This course is designed for individuals at all levels in all types of businesses who desire to polish and/or develop additional communication skills in formal and informal settings. Participants explore conflict resolution, giving/receiving criticism, defensive communication, assertiveness, focused listening, nonverbal communication, self-esteem, team building and delegating work, empowerment, small-group dynamics, management and sales strategies, customer service, problem-solving and negotiation, intercultural communication, interviewing, and power and authority.


Upon completion of the course, a participant can expect to know and understand:


  • The three core aspects to strategizing how to communicate
  • Difference between being right and effective
  • Individual strengths as a communicator and why they are strengths and how those strengths became strengths
  • Individual weaknesses and why they are weaknesses and how they became weaknesses
  • How culture shapes identity and in turn communication style
  • How emotions impact the way we communicate
  • How thoughts create feelings that in turn affect communication strategies
  • The most common triggers of defensive communication
  • Various styles of listening
  • Individual biases when dealing with people both new and familiar
  • The difference between fact and interpretation and how each affects our perception of people and situations
  • How family and various other cultural influences shape our world view
  • The emotive dimensions to language
  • How and why non-verbal skills are as important as verbal
  • The four main styles of conflict
  • Ten types of common difficult behavior
  • The eleven steps to having a difficult conversation
  • The belief systems underlying passive, passive-aggressive and assertive communication styles
  • How language is a socialized skill and the role gender plays in that socialization


Upon completion of the course, a participant can expect to be able to:


  • Strategize how best to communicate so as to reduce defensiveness
  • Manage and create the appropriate impression based on circumstance and goal
  • Engage in easy conversation so as to find common ground
  • Manage intense emotions and express them non-aggressively
  • Employ empathy when problem-solving with clients and colleagues
  • Deconstruct blind beliefs that debilitate thinking and action
  • Stay attuned to others’ emotional cues and responses
  • Detect and interpret non-verbal signals
  • Adjust listening style to that of the other so as to create rapport and understanding
  • Employ perception checking techniques so as to resolve misunderstandings
  • Work around cultural biases
  • Shift from a think-to-talk mode of speaking to a talk-to-think mode when necessary
  • Present ideas assertively
  • Resist various forms of emotional blackmail
  • Strategize and plan effectively for difficult conversations
  • Manage difficult types of behavior without escalating a situation
  • Analyze office politics and conflicts and strategize how to breakthrough dysfunctional patterns
  • Draw upon a wide range of communication skills that can be adapted to goal at hand


A book related to interpersonal communications chosen by the student and approved by the Instructor


Never Eat Alone   By: Keith Ferrazzi 

ISBN: 78-0-385-34665-8 / Crown Pub.

+  weekly handouts



  • Nine Reflection papers
  • Weekly exercises in prep for following week online discussion
  • One half-hour phone conversation with instructor
  • Required books + weekly reading hand-outs


Students are expected to:

  • Actively participate in class discussions and exercises
  • Complete all readings and homework as assigned
  • Be on time
  • Communicate respectfully to instructor and fellow classmates
  • Utilize professional level English in presentations and written assignments
  • Notify Instructor when not able to attend class
  • Make up missed work
  • Facial video must be on for all Zoom sessions – no black screens



Course grades will be based on participation and completion of assignments as follows:

  • 35%   Attendance (1 absence allowed). For each absence after that 1, a half-a-grade-point is deducted from final grade  
  • 20%   Consistent participation + conversation         
  • 35%   Reflection papers  
  • 10%   1/2 hour 1-on-1 consultation in person / Zoom / phone


Grading Scale:

to 90%
< 90%
to 80%
< 80%
to 73%
< 73%
to 0%

Institutional Policies

Student Conduct

Students are subject to disciplinary action for several types of misconduct or attempted misconduct, including but not limited to academic dishonesty, such as cheating, multiple submission, plagiarism, or knowingly furnishing false information to the University; or behavioral misconduct, such as theft or misuse of the intellectual property of others, harassment, or disruption of the learning environment. Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the Student Rights & Responsibilities Policy and to report concerns.

Services for Students with Disabilities

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, UCLA Extension provides appropriate accommodations and support services to qualified applicants and students with disabilities. These include, but are not limited to, auxiliary aids/services such as sign language interpreters, assistive listening devices for hearing-impaired individuals, extended time for and proctoring of exams, and registration assistance. Accommodations and types of support services vary and are specifically designed to meet the disability-related needs of each student based on current, verifiable medical documentation. Arrangements for auxiliary aids/services are available only through UCLA Extension’s Service for Students with Disabilities Office at (310) 825-7851 or by email at [email protected]. For complete information, please visit Accessibility and Disability Services.


The interim grade Incomplete (I) may be approved for a student who has completed the majority of the course requirements, with passing quality (grade C or higher), but is unable to complete a small portion of the coursework by the course end date for good cause. For courses in which an Incomplete may be allowed, approval by the instructor of record and the academic program director is required. The Incomplete grade is not an option for courses that do not bear credit, such as 700, 800, or 900-level courses.

It is the student's responsibility to petition for an Incomplete. The student and instructor must complete the Student Petition for an Incomplete prior to the final course meeting or before the quarter end date, and determine a due date for when the outstanding coursework will be completed. The due date cannot exceed the end of the ensuing quarter when a final grade must be reported or the Incomplete lapses to the grade "F," "NP," or "U." An Incomplete allows the student to complete only work that is outstanding and does not allow prior completed work to be retaken or resubmitted. Visit UCLA Extension Grading Scale for more information.

All Grades are Final

No change of grade may be made by anyone other than the instructor, and then, only to correct clerical errors. No term grade except Incomplete may be revised by re-examination. The correction of a clerical error may be authorized only by the instructor of record communicating directly with personnel of Student and Alumni Services.

Sexual Harassment

The University of California is committed to creating and maintaining a community where all individuals who participate in University programs and activities can work and learn together in an atmosphere free of harassment, exploitation, or intimidation. Every member of the community should be aware that the University prohibits sexual harassment and sexual violence, and that such behavior violates both law and University policy. The University will respond promptly and effectively to reports of sexual harassment and sexual violence, and will take appropriate action to prevent, to correct, and when necessary, to discipline behavior that violates our policy.

All Extension students and instructors who believe they have been sexually harassed are encouraged to contact the Department of Student and Alumni Services for complaint resolution: UCLA Extension, 1145 Gayley Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90024; Voice/TTY: (310) 825-7031. For more information, please view the University’s full Policy on Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence.

Additional Items

Protecting Privacy and Data During Live Instruction

Live meeting sessions for this class, when applicable, are being conducted over Zoom. As the host, the instructor may be recording live sessions. Only the host has the ability to record meetings, no recording by other means is permitted. Recorded sessions will be posted in the Videos area of this class unless otherwise notified. Due to privacy, recordings are not available for download and are only accessible via Canvas for the duration of the class. If you have privacy concerns and do not wish to appear in the recording, do not turn on your video and/or audio. If you also prefer to use a pseudonym instead of your name, please let the instructor know what name you will be using so that the instructor knows who you are during the session. To rename yourself during a Zoom meeting, click on Participants, click on your name, click on More, click on Rename. If you would like to ask a question, you may do so privately through the Zoom chat by addressing your chat question to the instructor only (and not to ""everyone""). Additionally, chat may be used and moderated for live questions, and saving of chats is enabled. If you have questions or concerns about this, please contact the instructor via Canvas Inbox.

Pursuant to the terms of the agreement between Zoom and UCLA Extension, the data is used solely for this purpose and Zoom is prohibited from re-disclosing this information. UCLA Extension also does not use the data for any other purpose. Recordings will be deleted when no longer necessary. However, recordings may become part of an administrative disciplinary record if misconduct occurs during a video conference.

Course and Instructor Evaluation

UCLA Extension values your feedback on course and instructor evaluations. We ask all students to take a few minutes to complete an end-of-course evaluation survey. Updates to the course and instruction are influenced by your feedback. Understanding your student experience is essential to ensure continuing excellence in the online classroom and is appreciated by your instructor and the UCLA Extension academic leadership.

Your participation in a survey is voluntary, and your responses are confidential. After instructors submit grades, they will be given an evaluation report, but this report will not contain your name.

About Your Online Course Materials

Please note the following about online course components at UCLA Extension:

  • Students must have basic computer skills, including the use of word processing software, email, and the ability to use internet browsers, such as Safari, Firefox, or Chrome.
  • Students are responsible for meeting the technical requirements of Canvas and familiarizing themselves with the Canvas Learning Management System.
  • Students are responsible for keeping a copy of all assignments and work submitted, and to be aware of all assignments, due dates, and course guidelines.
  • Students have access to courses via Canvas for an additional 30 calendar days after the course end date listed in the syllabus (the first 14 days are full access; the rest are read-only).
  • Students are encouraged to download/print content throughout the duration of the course and before the additional 30-day access ends. No further access is possible after the course becomes unavailable.

    To download all your assignment submissions in Canvas, please refer to the online support guide. for more information or contact Canvas Support via the help menu within Canvas.

UCLA Extension Canvas and Learning Support

For immediate 24/7 Canvas technical support, including holidays, click on Help (located on the menu to the left) where you can call or chat live with a Canvas Support representative.

UCLA Extension Academic Technology and Learning Innovation
The UCLA Extension Learning Support staff assists both students and instructors with Canvas-related technical support, as well as general and administrative questions.

Learning Support staff is available Monday through Friday, from 8 AM to 5 PM (Pacific Time), except holidays:

Campus Safety Escorts

For students taking classes held on the UCLA campus and in and around Westwood Village, the UCLA Police Department provides a free walking escort service every day of the year from dusk until 1 a.m. Community Service Officers (CSOs) are available to walk students, faculty, staff members and visitors to and from anywhere on campus, in Westwood Village, and in the village apartments. CSOs are uniformed students who have received special training and are employed by the UCLA Police Department. To obtain an escort, please call (310) 794-9255 and allow 15 to 20 minutes for your escort to arrive. For complete information, see UCLA Evening Escorts.


 Subject to change at Instructor’s discretion



Assignments and Readings


Week One  - 1/10


Handouts + Inventory

Week Two - 1/17

Emotional Intelligence

Handouts + Reflection #1

Week Three - 1/24



Handouts + Reflection #2

Week Four - 1/31




Handouts + Reflection #3

Week Five - 2/7

Communication Climates


Handouts + Reflection # 4

Week Six - 2/14

Conflict Pt. 1

Handouts + Reflection #5 + Ferrazzi Section 1

Week Seven - 2/21

Conflict Pt. 2


Handouts + Reflection #6

Week Eight - 2/28

Conflict Pt. 3

Handouts + Reflection #7

Week Nine - 3/4

Small group conversations re. resources

NOTE: this week's session will be via Zoom

Handouts + Reflection #8

Week Ten - 3/11

Nuanced Power of Language

Handouts + Reflection #9 + Ferrazzi Section 5




Week Eleven - 3/18



no assignments