Communication, Leadership and Ethics


Many students probably have not considered how their personality influences other people; or explored their own values and attitudes. Because interpersonal relations contribute so heavily to effective leadership, this course has been designed to provide students with the basics of Communication skills in a way that will help them to be more aware of the way they communicate, as well as to be more ethic and effective in their leadership roles over the course of their careers, and in their personal lives. We created a course where learning means to be actively involved and we want to help to turn classrooms into a dynamic interactive learning experience. Students will be challenged to learn more about Communication, Leadership & Ethics through self-assessments, case studies and discussion points, but also through simulators (self-pitch, job interviews, etc) where they can practice their soft skills.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Laurinda Alves


Weekly - Available soon

Total - Available soon

Teaching language

Portuguese and English



BRITO, Alberto s.j./ ALVES, Laurinda, Ouvir, Falar, Amar, Oficina do Livro, 2011.

FRANKL, Viktor E., O Homem em busca de um sentido, Lua de Papel, 2012.

DUBRIN, Andrew J., Human Relations, Interpersonal Job- Oriented Skills, 6ª ed., Prentice Hall, 1997.

HARKINS, Philip J., Powerful Conversations: How High Impact Leaders Communicate, McGraw-Hill, 2016.

RILKE, Rainer Maria, Cartas a um jovem poeta, Coisas de Ler, 2007.

CARNEGIE, Dale, Como Fazer Amigos e Influenciar as Pessoas, Lua de Papel, 2015.

Teaching method

A hands-on approach to the subject will be used with many practical exercises and material from the field. Classes will be highly dynamic – you’ll have exercises in which you have to speak to the class and give feedbacks, the learning method will be based on feedback.

Evaluation method

Class Participation   
5%    By participation, we mean assiduity, punctuality, attitude towards fellow students and professors/TAs, engaging in class exercises, being committed, and fully present in class.

Assignments        At the end of each class a group/ individual assignment will be given to bridge the subject of the current class with the content of the next class. In total, there are 5 assignments, to be submitted through the Moodle Platform. All assignments may be handed-in either in Portuguese or English, regardless of the kind of language class enrolled.
Assignment 1    5%    Students are asked to complete a self-assessment form which relates the perception of how one sees him/herself and others perceive him/herself.
Assignment 2    15%    Students are asked to write an essay regarding an ethical dilemma of their choice, presenting arguments against and in favour.

Assignment 3   
15%    Students are asked to write (individually) an essay focused on ethical future dilemmas, after watching the Portuguese TV series RTP: “2077 – Episode 1”. For English students, this essay might be on the TV series Black Mirror.

Assignment 4   
15%    Students are asked to map and characterize one leader, his/her motivations, context and purpose, as well as describing how the leader dealt with one specific problematic. Afterwards, this essay is present in-class (pitch).

Assignment 5   
10%    Students are asked to project themselves into the future, mapping their ultimate goals and identifying what actions they have to follow to achieve what they are intended to. This will be used as a basis for this semester’s theme: SUPERATION.
10%    We will receive 3 very special guest speakers throughout this semester. Each student has to attend, at least, 2 talks. At the end of the talk, students will be provided with proper paper sheets with a specific challenge. Each talk/report delivered is worth 5%. Speakers and dates to be determined.
NEW GEN    25%    Students are asked to make a final presentation in groups.

Resit Exam Period
Not applicable.
Grade Improvement in Regular Period
The student is required to enroll in the following semester and complete ALL the grading parameters again with no exceptions.
Grade Improvement in Resit Period
Not applicable: as mentioned above, the student is required to enroll in the following semester and complete ALL the grading parameters again with no exceptions.

Subject matter

Week 1,2
1. Communication: The Big PictureCourse introduction (expectations, purpose, etc.); Teachers Self-Pitch; Students Cross-Presentation; 4 Communication Traps. Challenge #1
Week 3,4
2. Debate Skills, Story Telling and FeedbackFeedback; Story Telling Exercise; Introduction to Debate; Dilemma’s quick debate exercise. Challenge #2
Week 5,6
3. Contemporary Leadership and EthicsContemporary leadership; Watch Movie; Prepare Group Presentations. Definition of ethics; Ethics Quiz; Drivers of unethical behavior and Debating ethical issues. Challenge #3
Week 7,8
4. Pitching Yourself, Ideas and ProjectsPitching yourself in professional interviews; Self- confidence, credibility, honesty, integrity, authenticity. Challenge #4
Final test
26th April – 11h-12h30
Week 9,10
5. New Gen preparationIndividual pitch about the challenge 4. Challenge #5
9th May
6. Dean’s SpeechInspirational talk about the importance of soft skills in the future. 9th May – 17:30
17-18th May
New GenFinal pitch made in groups in an auditorium.


Programs where the course is taught: