Improving Interpersonal Communication and Relationships

Course Description:

No matter how effective a communicator you already are, this course will help you communicate with greater impact in all types of workplace interactions. Participants will learn about communication styles that work best in various situations, how to build and maintain trust, how to give and receive input and criticism, how to increase your impact at meetings, ways to improve inter-professional working relationships, how to deliver difficult messages, how to communicate with diplomacy and tact, and how to deal with difficult behaviors more effectively. Whatever your job responsibilities or your position in the hierarchy, this program will offer you an assortment of strategies that can make a real difference in your interpersonal effectiveness and your ability to build and maintain satisfactory working relationships.

Target Audience

Academic Faculty/Staff, Federal Government Employees, State Government Employees, Local Government Employees, Non-Government Employees and Students

Learning Objectives

  • Identify the roadblocks to perceptual accuracy and manage perceptions more effectively
  • Send nonverbal messages and apply paralanguage in ways that build, rather than block, good working relationships
  • Understand how misinterpretations can develop as a result of ambiguities in the English language, as well as the limitations of the English language in terms of non-extreme word choices
  • Communicate in ways that are less likely to evoke defensive reactions in others
  • Identify the barriers to effective listening and faulty listening habits. Identify the three components of effective active listening
  • Describe the three choices for communication within the “Assertive Zone” and the two extreme styles that should be avoided in workplace communications
  • Identify the characteristics of diplomatic communication
  • Apply strategies for dealing with difficult behaviors, building trust, providing input, and giving/receiving constructive criticism
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 3.00 Participation/CE
    Tulane Professional and Continuing Education (PaCE) awards 3.00 hour(s) of credit for completing Improving Interpersonal Communication and Relationships
Course opens: 
Course expires: 


Ellen Belzer
Ellen Belzer, MPA 

Ellen Belzer, MPA, is president of Belzer Seminars and Consulting, LLC, a Kansas City-based company that specializes in negotiation, management, and communication programs and services for health care professionals. She is also Managing Editor of The Healthcare Collaborator, an online newsletter on communication strategies for health care professionals.

Belzer’s seminars on negotiation, conflict management, communication, and related topics have been conducted for thousands of physicians, nurses, administrators, and other health professionals throughout the United States. She also serves as a professional mediator to hospitals, managed care organizations, community/migrant health centers, state health departments, rehabilitation facilities, and a variety of health-related associations nationwide. She has served on the faculty of the MCH Leadership Skills Training Institute since its inception. Ellen has also served as a consultant, trainer, and mediator to various state Title V programs.

Belzer received her BA degree from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, her MPA degree from the University of Missouri at Kansas City, and has received additional training in negotiation through an intensive university-based program. Prior to starting her consulting and seminar practice in 1986, she as an executive with a national medical specialty association for 12 years where she received a broad background in medical socioeconomics.

Available Credit

  • 3.00 Participation/CE
    Tulane Professional and Continuing Education (PaCE) awards 3.00 hour(s) of credit for completing Improving Interpersonal Communication and Relationships


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Required Hardware/software

System Settings 
This course is designed to work most effectively if your computer and internet connection meet certain minimal requirements. This course can be accessed using a Windows 10 PC or a Mac with High Sierra1, Mojave, or Catalina. Pop-up blockers should be disabled when viewing the course. Internet Explorer 11 (for Windows 10), or the current version of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Apple Safari (for Windows 10 and or Mac) is required. Many of our courses require Java and JavaScript enabled. 

Links to External Websites   
Links to websites outside this course will open in a new window or tab. Some browsers may minimize the course window. If this occurs, maximize the course window to return to the course. 

Adobe Acrobat Reader (for desktops and laptops)  
Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to access some documents in this course. If you need to download a free copy of Acrobat Reader, click here.  

Internet Connection Speed 
A minimum download speed of 1.5 Mbps is recommended for an optimal experience, which is commonly the speed associated with a basic DSL or a cellular/satellite connection. A faster connection, such as cable or fiber service, with further enhance your online experience. A Wi-Fi connection is generally acceptable, but it is dependent upon one of the two services mentioned above. You can check your internet connection speed at