Communication matters because every single day managers and businesses must craft and convey messages that coordinate actions among people and inspire them to accomplish worthy goals. In the eyes of employees, customers, shareholders, and society, the quality of communication often makes the difference. Whether or not leaders and organizations are seen as credible and responsible depends on messages and actions that diminish or create trust, build relationships, and add value.
Communication area faculty challenge students, business practitioners, and academics to enrich their understanding and practice of communication. All communication courses at Darden lay a foundation for lifelong learning by introducing a strategic approach, supplemented by opportunities to hone and develop skills. To communicate intentionally and effectively, people must think beyond their own objectives. This means considering relevant context, culture, audience, and desired responses to make wise choices when crafting messages and choosing how and when to deliver them. In addition to a case-based discussion, communication courses provide opportunities to apply communication strategy in oral, written, and visual modes while gaining skill with traditional and emerging communication technologies.
The required communication course in all Darden degree programs (MBA, EMBA/GEMBA, MSBA, and PTMBA) serves as an introduction to communication strategy, typical business situations that require mastery, and skill building for personal growth. Elective courses typically take a deeper dive into a level of application or into a specialized topic. For example, students may take a course on public speaking or interpersonal, organizational, strategic, or corporate communication. Or they may gravitate to topical courses such as resilience and communication, negotiations, storytelling with data, financial storytelling, leading through disruption, transforming conflict, cross-cultural communication, or gender and communication.
Communication topics headline or are woven throughout many Darden Executive Education programs. Faculty are active as coaches to individuals, consultants to organizations, speakers for practitioner and academic audiences, and writers of cases, articles, and books. The Darden Leadership Communication Council ensures a pipeline of expertise and knowledge flows between Darden and professionals and academics in related field such as human relations, investor relations, corporate communication, public relations, and journalism.