Course Description


"When we know something, it becomes hard for us to imagine not knowing it. As a result, we become lousy communicators. Think of a lawyer who can't give you a straight, comprehensible answer to a legal question. [The] vast knowledge and experience renders [the lawyer] unable to fathom how little you know. So, when [the lawyer] talks to you, [it's] in abstractions that you can't follow. And we're all like the lawyer in our own domain of expertise."

- Erik Qualman, Digital Leader (from a Guy Kawaski, interview of Chip and Dan Health, authors of Made to Stick)

YOU KNOW WHAT YOU WANT AND YOU MEAN WHAT YOU SAY...AT LEAST YOU THOUGHT YOU DID. Guess what? Not everyone thinks like you and that's why your intention isn't matching the outcome when you communicate.


- Learn why the same message can be understood differently by different people.

- Discover how to manage emotions, assumptions, and behavior to improve communication outcomes.

- Find out how group dynamics affect group communication and what to do to improve communication outcomes.

- Learn how to listen and give feedback effectively.

CEO and Senior Instructor

Susan White

WHO AM I? I am Susan Letterman White and I built a successful solo law practice, while I had two small children at home. My solo practice got me noticed by a law firm that invited me in as an associate, promoted me to partner, and asked me to lead the firm as the managing partner. I did that for several years before getting a Master of Science in Organization Development - the expertise at the intersection of business and psychology - and beginning my consulting, training, and coaching practice.An employment lawyer for over 20 yearsJD, MS, and certifications in MBTI and Korn-Ferry Leadership Architect and Voices 360University professor since 2011 (American University in Washington, DC and Northeastern University in Boston, MA) teaching leadership, career development, personal branding, change management, and strategic communicationLeadership positions in American Bar Association, Philadelphia Bar Association, Pennsylvania Bar Association, Massachusetts Bar Association, Boston Bar AssociationPublished author of Power & Influence for Lawyers: How to Use it to Develop Business and Advance Your Career (Thomson-Reuters/West Legal 2011)Coach, consultant, trainer, and speakerIn the words of a few former students and clients...Peng Zhang (Max)Experienced Digital Marketing | Marketing AnalyticsProfessor Susan Letterman White is an excellent teacher, thoughtful mentor, and strategic thinker. It was my pleasure to been in her Career Development class. Her lectures spanned from leadership, personal branding to professional networking, and she contributed great intellect, curiosity and innovation to the class . Outside of school, she has a broad view of the educational consultant area with very extensive knowledge and skill sets. I recommend her strongly and look forward to learning more from her in the near future!Jessica CocozzaDevelopmental Reading and Writing InstructorProfessor Letterman White is a former Professor I had at Northeastern University. Her engaging lectures and in-class exercises were very interesting. Her course was really fun and interactive. She really does care about her students and demonstrates a commitment to helping each of her students grow and succeed. Her feedback is very clear and helpful. She makes herself available to students practically at any time by email or phone. Her course was one of the best and most useful courses I’ve ever taken. I loved her class!AYESHA HAMILTONEmployment and Business Attorney, Pennsylvania and New JerseyI have worked with Susan Letterman White since July 2011 in a private coaching capacity. We had weekly calls and follow up homework assignments. This is basically the same model that many business coaches follow. So what's different about Susan? Susan is about the furthest thing from a run of the mill business coach you will find. As a former managing partner of a Center City law firm and an author, she is a force to be reckoned with. She understood my business, my objectives and more importantly, my self-limiting hurdles. She kept me focused on overcoming my own inhibitions about networking and business development in a way that would remain true to my personal style but still be effective. She made me ask some very difficult questions of myself, breaking down preconceived notions and conclusions that I had drawn about myself and others. She helped me recognize my strengths and understand how to use them rather than be shy about them. It is these discussions that have re-focused my efforts and pushed my business to the next level. In a few months, Susan has given me the tools bring my business to the next level and meet the objectives identified at the start of the coaching. Most importantly, Susan introduced me to a very simple process of strategic thinking which had made a huge difference in my decision making process. As a direct result of my discussions with her, I am much more thoughtful and analytical in the way I approach my cases, clients, business prospects, marketing and networking. As a direct result, I have seen tangible increases in new client intakes, professional development opportunities, and more positive outcomes on cases. Opportunities appear to be falling in my lap now-but I know that they are directly attributable to my work with Susan. These opportunities have more than paid for the coaching sessions. If you are an attorney or a business owner, I cannot stress how valuable Susan White would be for your business. No matter what your field, the skills Susan will help you discover are essential to your success. These were the best business development dollars I have ever spent and I am happy to share any additional information about my experience with Susan.

Course curriculum

  • 1


    • What to Expect

    • Nonverbal expression and Power Dynamics

  • 2

    The Communication Cycle

    • Presentation on the Communication Cycle

    • Communication Cycle Presentation Handout for Notes

    • Principles of Productive Communication

  • 3

    Managing Emotions, Assumptions, and Behavior to Optimize Communication

    • How Emotions, Assumptions and Behavior Affect Communication

    • Recognize Your Triggers Handout for Virtual Workshop

    • Virtual Workshop:Recognize Your Triggers and Default Responses and Learn to Adjust them to Communicate Strategically

  • 4

    Communication in Groups

    • A group discussion for your review

    • Group Communication Presentation

  • 5

    Listening and Feedback

    • Information about this chapter

    • Effective Listening

    • Giving Feedback Effectively