Course Title: Use targeted communication skills to build relationships

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2015

Course Code: MKTG5957C

Course Title: Use targeted communication skills to build relationships

School: 365T Global, Urban & Social Studies

Campus: City Campus

Program: C4357 - Certificate IV in Community Services Work

Course Contact : Zaina Nehme

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4552

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Jo Wallwork

Nominal Hours: 55

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

Not applicable.

Course Description

This course describes the knowledge and skills required to apply specific workplace communication techniques to build and maintain relationships with clients and colleagues based on respect and trust.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CHCCOM403A Use targeted communication skills to build relationships


1. Communicate effectively with clients and staff

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Identify and use appropriate communication strategies to:
- establish rapport
- exchange information
- facilitate resolution of issues
- defuse potentially difficult situations
1.2 Conduct interviews according to established procedures
1.3 Give feedback and advice in a way which reflects current identified good practice
1.4 Demonstrate respect for individual, cultural and social differences, needs and rights in communicating with clients and colleagues
1.5 If communication break down occurs, respond appropriately and refer to other staff or specialist services if required to ensure duty of care responsibilities are met
1.6 Respond to enquiries in a manner that promotes achievement of mutual outcomes
1.7 Respect and consider differences in views in a way that values and encourages the contributions of others
1.8 Ensure communication represents the organisation effectively where appropriate


2. Contribute to the implementation of effective communication strategies

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Implement strategies to check on the effectiveness of communication with clients and colleagues
2.2 Facilitate access to interpretive and translation services as required
2.3 Regularly review established channels of communication to ensure clients and co workers are informed of relevant information in a timely way
2.4 Provide coaching in effective communication to colleagues and clients as required
2.5 Maintain relevant work-related networks and relationships as required to ensure client needs and organisation objectives are met


3. Use specific communication techniques to maintain constructive interaction

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Put in place strategies to develop a trusting relationship that will enable negotiation of communication barriers
3.2 Use communication skills and processes to identify and address barriers to communication and facilitate identification of individual issues
3.3 Use effective skills in listening and providing feedback to ensure stories are heard and to support exploration and validation of issues raised
3.4 Seek agreement on processes to be followed to address issues within scope of own abilities, skills and work role
3.5 Make referral for conflict resolution and mediation as appropriate


4. Facilitate discussions

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Provide opportunities to fully explore all relevant issues
4.2 Routinely use strategies that encourage all group members to participate equally, including seeking and acknowledging contributions from all members
4.3 Routinely contribute to and follow objectives and agendas for meetings and discussions
4.4 Provide relevant information to groups as appropriate to facilitate outcomes
4.5 Evaluate group communication strategies to promote ongoing participation of all parties
4.6 Implement strategies to ensure the specific communication needs of individuals within the group are identified and addressed


5. Identify communication strategies to build relationships with clients who are involuntary or present communication challenges

Performance Criteria:

5.1 Identify and address specific communication barriers such as:
- closed or unreceptive attitudes
- mistrust or misunderstanding of people, organisations, systems and/or processes
- emotional states, such as fear, anger and frustration
5.2 Identify areas of mistrust or conflict that may require resolution
5.3 Identify the need to include additional parties

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course you will have developed and applied the skills and knowledge required to demonstrate competency in the above elements.

Details of Learning Activities

All courses and learning activities will be supported and complemented by RMIT’s learning management tool "Blackboard". Other essential learning activities will take place during the workshops, and you will also be required to undertake independent studies. Some of the learning activities that you will undertake are:

  • Class exercises
  • Demonstrations (role plays)
  • Observations
  • Group discussions
  • Class presentations
  • Case studies
  • Quizzes
  • Group activities

Teaching Schedule


Communicating in the CS sector – protocols and legislation

  • Being professional in communication (representing organisation)
  • Appropriate strategies for:
    • Establishing rapport
    • Exchanging information
    • Facilitating resolution of issues
    • Defusing difficult situations
  • Protocols for:
    • greetings (clients/co-workers/other staff
    • Resolving difficult situations and conflicts
    • Communicating in professional context
  • Look at legislative requirements re communicating (written, privacy, confidentiality – social media guidelines)
2Giving and receiving feedback


  • Giving feedback and advice – what would be the context for this?
  • Discuss Protocols for giving/receiving feedback - brainstorm to develop strategies
  • Conducting interviews
  • Review established procedures for interviews
  • In groups – develop scenario and interview questions
3Signs of effective communication
Active listening
Non-verbal communication
  • Actively engaging in communication – this means contributing to ensure communication is effective.
  • How can we tell if communication is effective? What are the signs of effective and non-effective communication?
  • Communication channels
  • Reviewing these to ensure you are communicating with clients and co-workers
  • Look at ‘checking strategies’:
    • non-verbal,
    • active listening
4Developing trust in communication (listening)

Barriers to communication

  • Developing trusting relationships
  • Why do you need to do this as a CS worker?
  • What is your responsibility as CS worker to develop trusting relationships?
  • Look at the barriers to this (in terms of clients)
  • How do you deal with these barriers – specific strategies
  • Need to identify barriers and address barriers
5Listening – specific skills for particular contexts

Conflict resolution - models

  • Listening
  • Listening – particular context, specifically indigenous & migrant
  • Relevance to CS worker
  • Active listening:
    • what this looks like
    • How to do it (specific strategies)
  • Conflict – framework for resolution, look at different models
  • One’s own response to conflict
  • Managing other’s conflict – strategies
6Group discussions (protocols and strategies for running & participating in successful meetings)
  • Group discussions
  • What these are – look at different formats
  • How they fit into role of CS worker (look at likely types of meetings – client, family, advocates, legal representatives, staff, interagency)
  • How group discussions fit into ‘communication channels’
  • Protocols for how meetings are run
  • Problems that can occur with group discussions
  • Conflict in meetings – specific strategies for dealing with this
7Dealing with difficult clients (1)
  • Communicating with difficult clients:
    • not all client are voluntary (i.e., they are seeing you involuntarily)
  • Look at specific strategies fo:
    • closed, unreceptive
    • mistrustfulness
    • misunderstanding
    • fear (of systems and processes)
    • emotional states (fear, anger, frustration)
8Dealing with difficult clients (2)
  • Communicating with difficult clients (2)
  • How to identify when the client’s mistrust/conflict requires resolution:
    • strategies for dealing with this
    • when to call in additional parties
  • Review of content and conduct interviews

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

No prescribed textbook required.


Other Resources

You will be provided with the resources and tools for learning in this course. This resources will also be available through Blackboard. You will also have access to the resources in the library at RMIT.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment for this course will consist of an interview analysis upon observation, development of a workplace strategy to improve communication and resolve conflicts, a group discussion involving different agencies and short answer question based on a case study.

Assessment Tasks

For this course you will be required to complete the tasks below:

Assessment task 1 - Observation (Interview): you will be required to create a context for an interview, develop appropriate questions for this context, conduct interview in groups of 3, and review the  interview process together.

Assessment task 2 -  Report: you are required to develop a strategyt to support and improve communication within your workplace.

Assessment task 3 - Group discussion: for this task you will work as a group to develop a simulated interagency meeting. 

Assessment task 4 - Case study and short answer questions: this case study will explore a client situation which will require particularly sensitive handling. In this activity you will develop a strategy to develop a trusting relationship and negotiate a way through the existing communication barriers.

Assessment Matrix

This program in delivered in accordance with competency-based assessment, grades include:

CA: Competency Achieved
NYC: Not Yet Competent
DNS: Did Not Submit for assessment

Other Information

Assessment Tasks Submission Cover Sheet
You must complete a submission cover sheet for every piece of submitted work, including online submissions. This signed sheet acknowledges that you are aware of the plagiarism implications.

It is strongly advised that you attend all workshops in order to engage in the required learning activities, ensuring the maximum opportunity to gain the competency.

You will receive verbal and written feedback by teacher on your work. This feedback also includes suggestions on how you can proceed to the next stage of developing your competency. Information regarding student feedback can be found at:;ID=9pp3ic9obks7

Student Progress
Monitoring academic progress is an important enabling and proactive strategy to assist you to achieve your learning potential. The Student progress policy can be found at:;ID=vj2g89cve4uj1

Special consideration Policy (Late Submission)
All assessment tasks are required to be completed to a satisfactory level. If you are unable to complete any piece of assessment by the due date, you will need to apply for an extension. Information regarding application for special consideration can be found at:;ID=g43abm17hc9w

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism
RMIT University has a strict policy on plagiarism and academic integrity. For more information on this policy go to Academic Integrity Web site:;ID=kw02ylsd8z3n

Course Overview: Access Course Overview