Workplace Communication: What The Apprentice Teaches About Communication Skills

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This article reports the results of a content analysis of the debut season of the reality television show, The Apprentice. All 15 episodes were examined to determine the role that communication competencies played in competitors’ success or elimination. Results indicate that the ability to persuade effectively was most critical to winning tasks, but leadership skills and interpersonal skills were the most common sources of praise and criticism from teammates and Donald Trump and his associates. Women appeared to be judged more critically for their interpersonal skills than men, whereas evaluations of men focused primarily on their leadership abilities.