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Business and Professional Communication

Business and Professional Communication
KEYS for Workplace Excellence

Third Edition
Additional resources:

December 2015 | 408 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Professional success requires excellent communication skills. Organized around the transition from student to professional life, Business and Professional Communication, Third Edition gives readers the tools they need to move from interview candidate to team member to leader. Kelly M. Quintanilla and Shawn T. Wahl help students understand the role communication plays when successfully handling situations like job interviewing, providing feedback to supervisors, and working in teams.  The fully updated Third Edition includes expanded coverage of making competent choices in new communication channels, increased emphasis on skill building for business writing and presentations, and the effective use of visual aids.


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Part I: Beginning Communication Principles
Chapter 1: Business and Professional Excellence in the Workplace
What Is Business and Professional Communication?  
Business and Professional Excellence in Context  
Understanding the KEYS Process  
Understanding the Importance of Human Communication in Business and Professional Contexts  
Communication: A Complex Process  
Social Media and Technology: Key Challenges in the Communication Age  
Communication Apprehension  
Communication Ethics  
KEYS for Excellence in the Workplace  
Chapter 2: Verbal and Nonverbal Communication
Verbal Communication  
Nonverbal Communication  
Codes of Nonverbal Communication  
Forming Relationships With Verbal and Nonverbal Communication  
KEYS To Excellence in Verbal and Nonverbal Communication  
Chapter 3: Listening
Hearing and Listening  
Barriers to Listening  
Listening Styles and Categories  
Improving Your Listening  
KEYS to Listening Excellence  
Part II: Entering the Workplace
Chapter 4: Résumés, Interviews, and Negotiation
The Job-Seeking Process  
Stage One: Exploring  
Stage Two: Researching  
Stage Three: Applying  
Stage Four: Interviewing  
Stage Five: Following Up  
Stage Six: Negotiating  
KEYS to Excellence in the Job-Seeking Process  
Chapter 5: Getting to Know Your Diverse Workplace
Learning Your Workplace Culture  
Assimilating College Students  
Diversity in Your Workplace: Some Important Concepts  
Examples of Diversityin Professional Contexts  
KEYS to Excellence in Getting to Know the Diverse Workplace  
Part III: Developing in the Workplace
Chapter 6: Interpersonal Communication at Work
Exploring Relationship Types at Work  
The Line Between Professional And Personal  
Professional Etiquette  
KEYS to Excellence in Interpersonal Communication  
Chapter 7: Strengthening Teams and Conducting Meetings
How Do Groups Differ From Teams?  
Conducting Meetings  
Shared Leadership  
Problem Solving  
Cultivating Innovative Thinking  
Conflict in Team Meetings  
KEYS to Excellence in Team Communication  
Part IV: Excelling in the Workplace  
Chapter 8: Technology in the Workplace
Communication and Technology: Tools for Professionals  
Drawbacks of Technology  
Professional Etiquette With Technology  
KEYS to Excellence With Communication and Technology  
Chapter 9: Business and Professional Writing
The Importance of Written Communication  
Types of Written Communication  
KEYS to Excellence in Written Communication  
Chapter 10: Leadership and Conflict Management
What Is Leadership?  
Utilizing Power  
Improving Communication With Leadership Theories  
Hiring the Right Team  
Following Up and Following Through  
Communicating About Your Team  
Dealing With Difficult People  
Giving Feedback  
Putting It Together  
Managing Your Public Image  
KEYS to Excellence in Leadership  
Part V: Presenting in the Workplace  
Chapter 11: Informing and Persuading
The Importance of Presenting With Professional Excellence  
Identifying Presentation Opportunities and Purposes  
Speaking to Inform  
Speaking to Persuade  
KEYS to Excellence in Professional Presentations  
Chapter 12: Speech Design
Analyzing the Audience  
Analyzing the Context  
Organizing Your Presentation  
KEYS to Excellence in Speech Design  
Chapter 13: Delivering a Speech With Professional Excellence
Delivering a Presentation With Professional Excellence  
PowerPoint and Other Supporting Aids  
Practice Makes Perfect  
Team Presentations  
KEYS to Excellence in Delivering a Speech  
Part VI: Surviving in the Workplace
Chapter 14: Work–Life Balance
The Importance of Work–Life Balance  
Triggers to Imbalance  
Strategies for Balance  
KEYS to Excellence With Work–Life Balance  


Student Study Site

SAGE edge for students helps improve performance, enhance learning, and offers a personalized approach to coursework in an easy-to-use environment.

  • A customized online action plan includes tips and feedback on progress through the course and materials, which allows students to individualize their learning experience.
  • Mobile-friendly eFlashcards strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts.
  • Mobile-friendly practice quizzes allow for independent assessment by students of their mastery of course material.
  • Chapter-specific learning objectives reinforce the most important material.
  • Chapter-specific discussion questions help launch classroom interaction by prompting students to engage with the material and by reinforcing important content
  • Carefully selected chapter-by-chapter video and multimedia content which enhance classroom-based explorations of key topics
  • Access to full-text SAGE journal articles that have been carefully selected to support and expand on the concepts presented in each chapter.

Instructor Site

SAGE edge for Instructors (Password Protected) supports your teaching by making it easy to integrate quality content and create a rich learning environment for students.

  • Test banks provide a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity to edit any question and/or insert your own personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding. Also available in Respondus software.
  • Learning objectives reinforce the most important material
  • Lecture notes summarize key concepts on a chapter-by-chapter basis to help with preparation for lectures and class discussions.
  • Editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides offer complete flexibility for creating a multimedia presentation for your course. 
  • Tables and Figures are available in an easily-downloadable format for use in papers, hand-outs, and presentations
  • Sample course syllabi for semester, quarter, and online courses provide suggested models for structuring your course structure.
  • Chapter-specific discussion questions help launch conversation by prompting students to engage with the material and by reinforcing important content.
  • EXCLUSIVE! Access to full-text SAGE journal articles which have been carefully selected for each chapter. Each article supports and expands on the concepts presented in the chapter.
  • Chapter exercises for individual or group projects provide lively and stimulating ideas for use in and out of class reinforce active learning. 
  • Video and Multimedia Links, including carefully selected chapter-by-chapter video and multimedia content which enhance classroom-based explorations of key topics.



An excellent resource that I use for my student to gain practical skills in managing others.

Mrs Karen Gray
Teacher Education, Simply-Training
September 19, 2016
Key features


  • New chapter-opening narratives introduce students to each chapter with a contemporary example drawn from the real world.
  • New Tools for Professional Excellence feature builds students’ communication skills, offers career tips, and provides practical strategies for contexts related to business and professional communication, social media and technology.      
  • Revised Your Communication Interaction feature demonstrates for students how to make competent communication choices and select the appropriate communication channel (e.g, face to face communication, making phone calls, sending emails, making communication decisions related to social media and technology).
  • New Action Items feature encourages students to apply chapter content to business and professional communication skills and contexts.
  • New Explore Questions encourage students to research and evaluate multiple industries, career opportunities, real-world workplace challenges and more.
  • Revised Executive Summary concisely reviews key concepts and skills at the end of every chapter to reinforce the students’ understanding of the content.
  •  New Review Questions are included in every chapter as a learning tool to support mastery of chapter content.    


  • Chapter Outlines detail the organization of each chapter, while Chapter Objectives help students prioritize information so that they can learn more efficiently.
  • The KEYS organizing theme is highlighted in four distinct instructional features:
    • Know Yourself features self-assessments and inventories for students to hone their communication skills
    • Evaluate the Professional Context encourages application of knowledge to a variety of professional contexts and situations
    • Your Communication Interaction focuses on making competent communication choices and selecting the appropriate communication channel
    • Step Back and Reflect presents challenges and dilemmas in business and professional contexts, promoting analysis of what went wrong in specific business and professional situations
  • All box features contain discussion questions to promote critical thinking and classroom discussion.
  • KEYS for Workplace Excellence summaries show students how to evaluate and apply important themes seen throughout the chapter to the real-world. 
  • Communication ethics, a foundation of business and professional excellence, is emphasized in all chapters by connecting a topic to an ethical perspective with a feature called Ethical Connection.
  • Discussion Questions build students’ critically thinking skills and can help generate classroom discussion.
  • Complete References to the research base cited within the text appear at the end of the book and are organized by chapter. Students may find these references useful as they prepare assignments and/or conduct their own research projects. Instructors may use the references to gather additional material for their own research or to supplement instruction.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Chapter 4

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