JA Business Communications


JA Business Communications<sup>™</sup>

JA Business Communicationspart of the JA High School Experience courses, is a one-semester teacher-led course that equips high school students to focus on communication skills necessary to succeed inbusiness, including communicating up, down, and across organizations, talking about performance, and writing in a business setting. Volunteers engage with students through a variety of activities that includes subject matter guest speaking and coaching or advising for case study and project course work. 

 

Students will:

  • Learn the necessary concepts applicable to state and national educational standards.

  • Apply these standards-based concepts to the real world.

  • Synthesize elective concepts through cumulative, tangible deliverables (projects).

  • Analyze a business situation or principle through the use of a case study.

  • Demonstrate the skills necessary for future career pathway success.

Pillars of Student Success Entrepreneurship:  Financial-Literacy:  Work-Readiness: 
Program Implementation Program Grade-Level
Classroom-Based High School
Program Concepts Program Skills
Active listening, Audience, Business correspondence, Business documentation, Business letter, Business policies and procedures, Communication barriers, Communication model, Communicate expectations, Communication strategies and tools, Decision Tree, Downward communication, Effective communication, Effective feedback, Effective listening, Effective meeting strategies, Email, Employer expectations, External stakeholders, Feedback loop, Internal stakeholders, Interpretation, Levels of Listening, Lines of communication, Listening strategies, Meeting planning, Memo, Message, Online messaging platforms, Organizational structure, Performance expectations, Persuasion, Persuasive writing, Presentation content, Presentation planning, Presentation skills, Professionalism, Public speaking, Purpose, Revision, Social media, Social proof, Surveys, Tone, Upward communication, Virtual meetings, Work traits, Written communication Accept criticism, Accept feedback, Analyze audiences, Adjust communication to situations, Analyze communication problems, Analyze personal experience, Analyze situations, Analyze similarities and differences, Analyze writing samples, Apply communication skills, Brainstorm ideas, Brainstorm solutions, Choose the best social media platform, Communicate with a supervisor, Communicate with authority, Create and deliver a presentation, Craft an online message, Discuss in small groups, Draw conclusions from information, Effective listening skills, Evaluate consequences, Evaluate feedback, Evaluate performance based on expectations, Evaluate presentations, Evaluate professionals, Identify the problem, Improve communication, Make recommendations, Participate in discussion, Practice oral communication, Practice group communication, Practice the communication model, Provide feedback, Respond professionally, Revise messages, Rewrite based on purpose, Role-play business situations, Role-play communication scenarios, Use technology to polish writing, Verbal communication skills, Write a business policy, Write clear messages, Write office communication, Write persuasive messages

Program Sessions

1.1 Communication and Professionalism

THEME 1: INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION SKILLS

1.1 Communication and Professionalism

Students learn about communication strategies and the consequences of poor communication in the workplace. They also learn how communication skills affect a person's perceived professionalism.

 

Students will:

  • Describe the consequences of poor communication in the workplace.
  • Explain how using effective communication skills can affect the perception of professionalism.
  • Identify and use the best communication strategy for a specific audience.

1.2 Active Listening

THEME 1: INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION SKILLS

1.2 Active Listening

Students learn about the levels of listening and effective listening strategies. Students complete a listening skills self-assessment and make recommendations to improve listening skills in the workplace.
 

 

Students will:

  • Explain effective listening techniques.
  • Analyze workplace situations and make recommendations for improving listening.
  • Self-assess listening skills and identify strategies for improvement.

1.3 Polished Presentation

THEME 1: INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION SKILLS

1.3 Polished Presentation

Students learn about the components of a presentation and how to deliver an effective one. They also learn how to organize information in a logical manner. Students create a persuasive presentation, which they deliver to the class.
 

Students will:

  • Recognize effective presentation techniques.
  • Determine the appropriate information and a logical sequence for sharing it in workplace presentations.
  • Create and deliver an appropriate presentation for a workplace situation.

1.4 Meeting Management

THEME 1: INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION SKILLS

1.4 Meeting Management

Students learn steps they can take to facilitate an effective meeting. They compare face-to-face and virtual meetings and when each might be used. Students also learn about virtual meeting tools.

 

Students will:

  • Identify and use effective strategies for facilitating meetings.

  • Compare the differences between face-to-face and virtual meetings.

  • Evaluate virtual meeting tools and select the best one for a given situation.

2.1 Writing a Clear Message

THEME 2: BUSINESS WRITING

2.1 Writing a Clear Message

Students learn how to evaluate their audience and clarify the purpose of their message. Students identify the difference between clear and unclear messages. They also use technology to create clear messages.

 

Students will:

  • Describe how an effective message addresses the needs of the audience and the purpose of the message.

  • Differentiate between clear and unclear written messages.

  • Use different technological tools to compose clear, succinct, and accurate messages.

2.2 Writing Persuasive Messages

THEME 2: BUSINESS WRITING

2.2 Writing Persuasive Messages

Students learn about creating persuasive messages. They create and use credibility, logic, and emotion to persuade an audience. Students also use social proof to strengthen the persuasiveness of a message.
 
 

Students will:

  • Identify the type of strategy (e.g., credibility, logic, emotion) used in persuasive messages.

  • Describe how audience characteristics influence persuasive messaging strategy.

  • Use social proof to enhance the persuasiveness of a message.

2.3 Writing to Inform

THEME 2: BUSINESS WRITING

2.3 Writing to Inform

Students learn about common types of business correspondence and when to use each. They also learn how to use appropriate language in business correspondence.

 

Students will:

  • Describe types of business correspondence used to share information internally and externally.

  • Use appropriate language for business correspondence.

  • Analyze the purpose and audience for a message and write an informative letter, memo, or email to share the information.

2.4 Writing for the Internet

THEME 2: BUSINESS WRITING

2.4 Writing for the Internet

Students learn about different ways that businesses can communicate online, including using websites and social media. Students draft an online message to launch or promote a business of their choosing.

 

Students will:

  • Identify the best online platform for a variety of business communications.

  • Describe the advantages and disadvantages of using online platforms for communicating a business message.

  • Effectively use online platforms for a variety of business communications.

3.1 Communicating Within the Organization

THEME 3: ORGANIZATIONAL COMMUNICATION

3.1 Communicating Within the Organization

Students learn about communication within a business and how it changes as the business grows. Students explore different tools for communicating within a business and practice sharing information with people at different levels of the organization.

 

Students will:

  • Describe how communication within a business changes as the organization grows.

  • Identify appropriate tools for communicating within businesses of various sizes.

  • Identify the most appropriate methods for communicating with people at different levels of an organization.

3.2 Communicating Up the Organization

THEME 3: ORGANIZATIONAL COMMUNICATION

3.2 Communicating Up the Organization

Students learn about upward communication strategies and why they are important to a business. They learn about barriers that prevent effective communication. Students also identify techniques to facilitate effective upward communication.

 

Students will:

  • Explain why upward communication is beneficial to a business.

  • Describe barriers to upward communication in an organization.

  • Identify methods for encouraging upward communication in an organization.

3.3 Communicating Down the Organization

THEME 3: ORGANIZATIONAL COMMUNICATION

3.3 Communicating Down the Organization

Students learn about downward communication and how to improve it within an organization. They also determine whether downward communication is effective and role-play downward communication skills.

 

Students will:

  • Identify methods for improving downward communication within an organization.

  • Interpret communication cues that demonstrate the effectiveness of downward communication.

  • Demonstrate the skills used in effective downward communication.

3.4 Communicating Across the Organization

THEME 3: ORGANIZATIONAL COMMUNICATION

3.4 Communicating Across the Organization

Students learn about horizontal and diagonal communication and the strategies they can use to improve these communication flows. They also learn about the organizational grapevine.

 

Students will:

  • Define horizontal and diagonal communications.

  • Identify strategies for improving horizontal and diagonal communications.

  • Explain the advantages and disadvantages of the organizational grapevine.

4.1 Communicating About Performance and Expectations

THEME 4: COMMUNICATING ABOUT PERFORMANCE AND EXPECTATIONS

4.1 Communicating About Performance and Expectations

Students learn how to define and share information related to job performance effectively. They also practice applying this knowledge to a work-based scenario.

 

Students will:

  • Define and clearly communicate employee performance expectations.

  • Establish a plan for discussing employee performance expectations.

  • Use strategies to discuss employee performance.

4.2 Positive and Negative Feedback

THEME 4: COMMUNICATING ABOUT PERFORMANCE AND EXPECTATIONS

4.2 Positive and Negative Feedback

Students learn the difference between positive and negative feedback and how to give effective feedback. Students evaluate the effectiveness of feedback and use verbal communication techniques to deliver feedback effectively.

 

Students will:

  • Describe characteristics of effective feedback.

  • Identify ineffective feedback.

  • Use effective communication techniques to give feedback.

4.3 Handling Criticism

THEME 4: COMMUNICATING ABOUT PERFORMANCE AND EXPECTATIONS

4.3 Handling Criticism

Students assess their ability to receive feedback. They also learn strategies for using feedback effectively, including how to use verbal and nonverbal communication skills to manage their response.

 

Students will:

  • Assess your ability to receive criticism.

  • Identify and apply strategies for using feedback constructively.

  • Use verbal and nonverbal communication skills to manage personal response to constructive criticism.

4.4 Documentation

THEME 4: COMMUNICATING ABOUT PERFORMANCE AND EXPECTATIONS

4.4 Documentation

Students learn about the importance of business documentation. They identify the stakeholders who benefit from different kinds of documentation. Students also develop a policy and procedure document for a business.

 

Students will:

  • Recognize documentation requirements for a business.

  • Develop a business document that communicates a policy, establishes an agreement, or meets a regulatory need.

Case Study: Communicating Successfully

Students learn about the different aspects of a communication model and the importance of good communication in the workplace. They read scenarios about workplace communication, analyze the communication problems, and use the communication model to make recommendations for improvement.