Internet Explorer 7, 8, and 9 are no longer supported. Please use a newer browser.
Concourse works best with JavaScript enabled.
UCLA logo

393397: Leadership Communication Strategies
MGMT-X 490.996

  • Fall 2023
  • Section 1
  • 4 Credits
  • 09/25/2023 to 12/10/2023
  • Modified 09/22/2023


This course is designed to improve interpersonal behaviors and communication skills for those in leadership roles with the goal of improving relationships, productivity, and the quality of work. Topics include a review of basic communication skills such as listening, self-disclosure, and methods of expression; more advanced skills such as nonverbal communication, influencing behaviors, addressing hidden agendas, and male/female communication in the workplace; conflict management skills; assertiveness; and responding to criticism.


This course will explore strategies and techniques for leading with empathetic communication. Students will develop a broad understanding of the impact of communication on employees and a detailed understanding of how to leverage empathetic communication from a leadership perspective. They will explore leadership communication and practice leadership communication strategies through hands-on activities.


By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Define leadership communication
  • Explain the difference between communication and connection
  • Define empathy and why it’s important
  • Describe how empathetic communication impacts all types of employees
  • Describe the connection between empathetic communication and employee engagement
  • Define types of empathetic communication using connection
  • Describe the various roles of empathy in communication
  • Explain own tendency towards empathetic communication
  • Describe multiple ways to cultivate empathetic communication
  • Explain the connection between empathetic communication and the bottom line
  • Recognize leaders who demonstrate empathetic communication
  • Describe techniques for communicating with empathy
  • Explain ways to overcome communication obstacles
  • Discuss how empathetic communication is most effectively delivered to different audiences


Note: If both a print edition and an e-text edition are presented for a specific text, only purchase one or the other.

Communicate Like a Leader

  • Author: Dianna Booher
  • Publisher: Berrett-Koehler
  • ISBN: 9781626569003


Paperback 9781626569003
PDF eBook 9781626569010
ePub 9781626569027
Audio Book 9781626569041


HBR's 10 Must Reads On Communication

  • Author: Harvard Business Review Press
  • ISBN: 9781422189863


Optional Book

Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success
Author: Grant
ISBN-10: 0143124986
ISBN-13: 978-0143124986



Types of evaluations and related weights
Type Weight Topic Notes
Online Forum & Discussion Participation 30%
Individual Assignment 1 10%
Peer Review 1 5%
Individual Assignment 2 15%
Peer Review 2 10%
Final Assignment 1 30%


to 97%
< 97%
to 93%
< 93%
to 90%
< 90%
to 87%
< 87%
to 83%
< 83%
to 80%
< 80%
to 77%
< 77%
to 73%
< 73%
to 0%

Course Policies

What You Should Expect from Me

Clarity. I will try to make course and assignment expectations as clear as possible. If you don’t understand requirements or concepts, please ask me.  Your questions and feedback helps me to continue to clarify material.

Engagement.  I will be online in the course every 48 hours at minimum, often with more frequency.  I will send out a weekly assignment post to ensure that you remain on track.  If a given week involves complex concepts or assignments, I may provide a mid-week check-in as well.  I will facilitate discussions and provide additional reflections or questions to further discussions.  I will also provide feedback on all assignments.

Support. I am here to support your learning and recognize students come to this course with varying degrees of experience. If you find that you need additional assistance understanding a concept, please let me know and I can offer or direct you to some supplemental assistance. 

Relevance. I will not ask you to do busy work. Each assignment is geared to prepare you for some aspect of leadership communication strategies. If you don’t understand why you’re doing an assignment, please ask me.

What I Expect from You

Online Course Practices

  • This is an online course. This course will require that you take greater personal responsibility and self initiative than a course in the classroom in order to stay current with online discussions. You should thoroughly read all documents and materials.
  • I am happy to answer any questions as they arise. However, if you ask me a question, I will expect that you have reviewed the syllabus, instructor post or online discussion forum prior to inquiring.  I will always refer you back to those documents first. 

Online Forum & Discussion Participation

  • Participating in the Discussion Forum is one of the most meaningful ways for you to learn in this course so it accounts for a large part of your grade.  Participation is required and is 30% of your total grade. 
  • You are required to contribute to Discussion Forum Questions or student interactions in an active and substantive way 2 out of 7 days each week.  You must provide at least 3 contributions per week (in addition to your response to the Discussion Forum question) for the entire duration of the course.
  • The discussion portion of the course runs from Monday to Friday each week.  Your first contribution must take place by 5pm PT Wednesday each week and your second contributions must take place by 5pm PT every Friday in order for everyone to have an opportunity to dialogue with each other about that week's topic.
  • Comments are considered substantive if they further the discussion or understanding of the topic being covered or ask a question that provides others an opportunity to analyze a situation or explain their experience.
  • Comments like "I agree" or "good point" do not qualify.
  • Both quantity and quality will be considered in determining whether participation has been met.
  • In addition to completing the assignments, you should read, analyze, and respond to the questions and comments from me and other students - in short, you are required to actively participate in our classroom discussions. You must do more than simply respond to the Discussion Forum question(s), you must demonstrate your regular reading of others' postings.
  • I track participation starting Week 1 through Week 8.  You will receive up to a total of 30 points (4 points per week, except Week 1, which you can earn a maximum of 2 points) by the end of the class for your Participation. This is 30% of your total grade.  Thus, for Week 2 - 8, you will be eligible for 4 points per week with the following breakdown: 
    • 2 points = quality of response to Instructor Discussion Question(s)
    • 2 points = actively contributed at least 3 times to Discussion Forum 2 times, 1 time by Wednesday at 5pm PT and all contributions completed by Friday at 5pm PT each week 
  • I encourage you try to relate your own "real world" experiences from your professional experiences (or personal if your work experiences are limited) as much as possible to our activities and discussions as your own experiences will provide great opportunity for us to learn from each other. I will look for comments that explore the content of the course. Your comments should add significantly to the discussion by building on others' comments, suggesting alternative solutions, pointing out problems, and even at times, constructively disagreeing.
  • All replies and/or comments should be written with respect, whether you agree or disagree with what is being stated. Our discussion goal is to be collaborative, not combative. Experience shows that even an innocent remark in an online environment can be easily misconstrued. I suggest that you always proof and re-read your responses carefully before you post them to make certain that your message will not be seen as a personal attack. Be positive in your approach to others and diplomatic with your words. I will do my best to do the same. Respect is the foundation of successful online learning. 

Turn in everything on time

  • An assignment is late if I don’t have it by the end of the week it is due. Assignments are due Sunday at 11:59pm.
  • I do not offer make up work or extra credit. If you anticipate missing a deadline for a significant, legitimate reason, I expect you to notify me in advance for consideration of an alternate arrangement at my discretion. 

 Late paper penalty is one full letter grade off for every day it’s late. (“Day” is defined as 24 hours.)

 Paper Submission Guidelines

Electronic submissions are required. Submit assignments and papers directly online. At times, I may be accessing your papers from a computer that is not running the latest software so allow time for occasional technical glitches.  If you are concerned I may not be able to access or open your document, ask me in advance or you may try uploading a PDF file.

  • It is your responsibility to provide a file that I can read. If your paper loses formatting in the transfer, that is also your responsibility. I will only grade on what I see and read. I will not reformat your paper for you. I will only open and view it. 
  • I will notify you if I cannot successfully open your file. That paper is then considered late and will be marked off accordingly.

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.

All published and unpublished material, whether in manuscript, printed or electronic form, is covered under this definition and includes the use of material generated wholly or in part through the use of artificial intelligence (except when the use of AI has received prior authorization for assessment as a reasonable accommodation for a student’s disability, or when the use of AI is a specified part of the coursework, e.g. data science or user experience). 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 by emailing the appropriate academic program department at least one week before the end of the course. The Program Department will initiate the petition process once the email is received.
  • The student, the instructor, the CE/Program Director, and the program staff must complete the petition prior to the final course meeting or before the quarter end date. This process can take up to one week to complete. 
  • The instructor will approve or deny the request. The instructor will provide details on what the student needs to accomplish in order to complete the course, as well as a due date for submitting completed work. 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.” Visit UCLA Extension Grading Scale for more information.  

An Incomplete allows the student to complete only work that is outstanding and does not allow prior completed work to be retaken or resubmitted.

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 9 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.


Course calendar and related activities
When Module Title Notes
Weekly Assignment
Week 1
Welcome, Introductions & Course Expectations
  • Do Weekly Reading
  • Participate in Discussion Forum (2)
  • View Intro Video
Weekly Assignment
Week 2
Using Empathy in Communication
  • Do Weekly Reading
  • Participate in Discussion Forum (1)
Weekly Assignment
Week 3
  • Do Weekly Reading
  • Participate in Discussion Forum (1)
  • Turn in Individual Assignment 1
Weekly Assignment
Week 4
  • Do Weekly Reading
  • Participate in Discussion Forum (1)
  • Turn In Peer Review 1 
Weekly Assignment
Week 5
  • Do Weekly Reading
  • Participate in Discussion Forum (1)
  • Turn In Individual Assignment 2 
Weekly Assignment
Week 6
  • Do Weekly Reading
  • Participate in Discussion Forum (1)
  • Turn In Peer Review 2
Weekly Assignment
Week 7
  • Do Weekly Reading
  • Participate in Discussion Forum (1)
Weekly Assignment
Week 8
  • Do Weekly Reading
  • Participate in Discussion Forum (1)
Weekly Assignment
Week 9
  • Do Weekly Reading
  • Participate in Discussion Forum (1)
  • Engage in Team Assignment
Weekly Assignment
Week 10
  • Do Weekly Reading
  • Complete Final Assignment
Weekly Assignment
Week 11
  • Do Weekly Reading
  • Turn In Final Assignment