I’m pleased to announce a complete new communications curriculum for college instructors. The curriculum works as a standalone course or as a supplement to business writing classes. The course, Business Writing That Builds Relationships, developed out of my long-standing interest in diplomatic, relationship-building messages at work.
The comprehensive 90-page curriculum is free to college instructors. It’s filled with detailed learning activities, lecture notes, effective and ineffective examples, exercises, and homework assignments.
One of my many favorite learning activities from the curriculum involves revising relationship-busting statements. Students first recognize why the instructor statements below are relationship busters. Then they either write or shout out their revisions of them. (Note: I credit the idea of shouting out revisions to Professor Anita Pandey of Morgan State University, who uses it in an exercise she calls “10 Seconds to Politeness!”)
Instructor statements to revise into relationship builders:
- I received your text complaining about the first assignment.
- Some of you have expressed confusion over the attendance policy.
- I won’t release your grade until you complete the final project.
More statements to revise:
- This budget makes no sense.
- Your idea will not work.
- Sorry for the inconvenience.
How would you revise each statement above so the message is more diplomatic and positive?
Once students recognize relationship-busting statements and learn how to revise them, they can create their own relationship busters to challenge their classmates.