Interpersonal Communication: Strategies for Executives

Course starts 18 November 2020

Course information

Registration Closes:
10 November 2020
Course Starts:
18 November 2020
6 weeks, excluding orientation
6–8 hours per week, entirely online
USD $2,800
Payment Options
MIT Sloan School of Management


Communication skills and interpersonal relationships are essential in an increasingly complex, dynamic, and technical world.

Communicating persuasively is crucial to inspiring and motivating others, and a requirement when leading a diverse — and often dispersed — workforce. It’s also important when working with external stakeholders such as clients or business partners from other countries.

The MIT Interpersonal Communication: Strategies for Executives online program combines research and practice-based methods to help you craft communication deliverables, using the RELATE Framework — a scalable communication strategy created by the MIT Sloan School of Management.

You’ll learn how to engage with a variety of audiences and, finally, apply a strategic communication lens to understand machines in the workplace.

Download course prospectus

What will set you apart

Earn a certificate of completion from MIT Sloan in this online program and be able to:

  • Apply your newly developed communication skills and strategies in any business context or industry

  • Use active listening and humble inquiry, and improve your ability to give and receive feedback

  • Apply a range of tactics to effectively manage and participate in difficult conversations

  • Use strategies to persuade external and internal audiences

  • Create your personal leadership narrative

Course curriculum

Develop your personal communication strategy as you follow your learning path through the weekly modules of this online program:

  • Orientation Module Welcome to your Online Campus
  • Module 1 Sharpening your communication capabilities through the RELATE Framework
  • Module 2 Navigating interpersonal dynamics
  • Module 3 Managing difficult conversations
  • Module 4 Communicating across cultures
  • Module 5 Maximizing your persuasive potential
  • Module 6 Addressing a new audience: machines

Learn effective communication for the digital age

This MIT Sloan online short course is delivered in collaboration with GetSmarter. Learn from industry thought leaders as you explore the link between communication and impactful leadership.

Your Faculty Directors

The design of this online program is guided by MIT Sloan faculty and industry experts who will share their experience and in-depth subject knowledge with you throughout the program.

Ben Shields

Ben Shields

Senior Lecturer in Managerial Communication, MIT Sloan School of Management

Shields holds an MA in communication studies and a PhD in media, technology, and society from Northwestern University. A senior lecturer in managerial communication at the MIT Sloan School of Management, he is the author or co-author of three books, Social Media Management: Persuasion in Networked Culture (Oxford University Press, 2016), The Sports Strategist: Developing Leaders for a High Performance Industry (Oxford University Press, 2015), and The Elusive Fan: Reinventing Sports in a Crowded Marketplace (McGraw-Hill, 2006).

He teaches a number of courses in the graduate programs at MIT Sloan, including communication for leaders, social media management, and a Sloan Fellows seminar on leadership. He previously served as the director of social media and marketing at ESPN, overseeing social media strategy for the brand.


Kara Blackburn

Kara Blackburn

Senior Lecturer in Managerial Communication, MIT Sloan School of Management

Blackburn holds a PhD from Boston College, an MA from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a BA from Connecticut College. She is an affiliate of MIT Sloan's Leadership Center and teaches a range of MBA and executive education programs, winning the Jamieson Prize for Excellence in Teaching at MIT Sloan in 2019. She has mentored teams in the Global Entrepreneurship Lab (G-Lab), and China and India Lab courses. She has also been the faculty lead for study tours in South America and Africa.

Industry Experts

Marcio Macedo

Marcio Macedo

Co-Founder and VP of Product and Marketing, Ava Robotics

Harriet Cross

Harriet Cross

British High Commissioner to Trinidad and Tobago

Eilon Shalev

Eilon Shalev

Founder and CEO, Elphi

Darren Thomason

Darren Thomason

Manager, Analysis Group

Gabriel Rose

Gabriel Rose

Senior Director of Social Media, CBS Sports Digital

Preston Chin

Preston Chin

Co-Founder, Open Story

Dennis Forward

Dennis Forward

Senior Mechanical Engineer and Robotics Project Lead, Ava Robotics

Earn a certificate of completion from MIT Sloan

Set yourself apart and get recognized for your knowledge when you earn an official certificate of completion from the MIT Sloan School of Management, one of the world's leading business schools.

This program also counts towards an MIT Sloan Executive Certificate, which you can earn upon completion of four programs where at least three of the four come from your chosen certificate track and at least one is completed in-person. Find full details here.

Your certificate will be issued in your legal name and sent to you upon successful completion of the course, as per the stipulated requirements.


When do I start?

Our next available short course starts 18 November 2020.

Get More Information

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Still have a question? These may help


    GetSmarter's learning model is designed to help you, as a working professional, improve your skills without compromising on work and family responsibilities. The course work is broken up into weekly, manageable bite-sized modules, with incremental deadlines, designed to help you pace yourself over the duration of the course and allow you the legroom to work when it suits you best.

    At the beginning of each week you'll be presented with all the lectures, notes and assignments necessary for completion. You also have access to your Success Advisor who will help you set goals and track key milestones, manage your time, and field any administrative requests you might have.


    By improving your skills and industry knowledge, you'll be having an influence on the success of your organisation.

    Why wouldn't you ask your boss to help you fund your studies if it's going to have an impact on the way you do business?

    37% of our past students receive financial assistance from their employers. You can ask for help, too. Here is a guide to show you how to receive financial assistance from your employer.


    The Online Campus will be your virtual classroom for the duration of your course. Through its easy-to-use interface you'll have access to a diverse variety of course content formats, including: interactive video lectures, module notes, practice quizzes, Prezis, assignment briefs, and additional web resources.

    On the Online Campus, you'll also be able to ask questions and interact with your fellow students and Head Tutor through the Online Campus discussion forums. If you're experiencing tech issues or need advice from your personal Success Advisor, you can use the Online Campus to get in touch.