About this online course


Discover how to gain support from management and motivate your teams by learning how to communicate effectively and strategically.

In order to be effective, leaders need a high tolerance of complexity. Beyond this, they need to inform their people and the outside world of their strategies, policies and decisions. Effective leaders are often inspiring communicators - their own high tolerance of complexity helps them reduce this complexity to a concise and powerful message. This course introduces the sensemaking mindset.

Your sensemaking mindset is of critical importance in motivating others to follow and support you. Your communication ability to inspire and convince is largely dependent on the way you frame your message, and on your skills at playing the game of framing and reframing. You will learn from a large variety of (video) cases and analyze a large number of situations where leaders' communication and sensemaking skills are tested and probed.

The course is designed so that you are introduced to communication by reviewing public figures and politicians to bring awareness to communication techniques. Then you will see the same techniques being utilized with public figures in the engineering field. This enables you to visualize how to best utilize these communication techniques in your career successfully.

Upon completion of this course you will be introduced to the sensemaking mindset, and will have learned how to use framing essentials, debating methods and pitching methods, in order to frame your communication to your team and supervisor. This will ensure that you are equipped to build winning coalitions in your own organization.

What you'll learn

  • How to apply a sensemaking mindset to derive a concise message from a complex situation
  • How to use pitching methods, debating methods, and framing and reframing effectively to achieve your goals
  • How to frame your ideas and plans to gain support from senior management and your teams

Quote from student

I am an engineer and often have to lead a team to finish work projects. For most of my career I feel I have been enhancing only my technical skills with less effort to build my leadership skills. Learning new skills will always be a good investment! - Davel Sihombing, Indonesia


Course Syllabus

Get started with communicating effectively

Week 1. Pitching methods: Inclusive and exclusive pitching 

  • Inclusive and exclusive pitching

Week 2. Framing essentials

  • The main characteristics of framing
  • The impact of framing 
  •  Apply on global warming 

Week 3. Debating methods: Framing models for debating 

  • Victims, Villains and Heroes
  • The 3P model - Policy, Principles and Personality
  • Apply on overhead power lines 
  • Application of debating methods
  • Leadership in practice: Managers about the communicative mindset

Week 4. Creating a dilemma: convincing stakeholders 

  • Sharing and transcending a dilemma 
  • Political oxymorons 
  • Creating a monopoly of emotion 
  • Application of creating a dilemma 

Week 5. Apply to your Situation and Next Steps 

  • Wrap-up 
  • Leadership in practice: Managers about the communicative mindset
  • Framing your communication


Unless otherwise specified, the Course Materials of this course are Copyright Delft University of Technology and are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


This is a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) that runs on edX.


The course is designed for individuals who are in a leadership positions or preparing for such positions in the future. Few years' experience in an organizational setting will be an advantage, but is not a requirement.

  • Starts: Anytime (Self-Paced)
  • Free | Earn certificate for $149
  • Length: Self-Paced
  • Effort: 4 - 5 hours per week / 5 weeks
  • More than 52,000 already enrolled!

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