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Improving communication Climates. Chapter topics. Communication Climate: The Key to Positive Relationships Defensiveness: Causes and Remedies Saving Face. Communication Climate. Communication Climate Refers to the emotional tone of a relationship Levels of Message Confirmation

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improving communication climates

Improving communication Climates

Chapter topics

  • Communication Climate: The Key to Positive Relationships
  • Defensiveness: Causes and Remedies
  • Saving Face
communication climate
Communication Climate
  • Communication Climate
    • Refers to the emotional tone of a relationship
  • Levels of Message Confirmation
    • Confirming Communication
      • Describes messages that convey valuing
    • Disconfirming Communication
      • Describes messages that show a lack of regard
communication climate3
Communication Climate
  • Disconfirming Messages
    • Impervious Responses
      • Doesn’t acknowledge the other person’s message
    • Interrupting
      • Beginning to speak before the other person has finished
    • Irrelevant Responses
      • A comment unrelated to what the other person has just said
communication climate4
Communication Climate
  • Disconfirming Messages
    • Tangential Responses
      • The speaker uses the other’s remarks as a starting point to shift the conversation
    • Impersonal Responses
      • Loaded with clichés and other statements that never truly respond to the speaker
    • Ambiguous Responses
      • Contain messages with more than one meaning, leaving the other party unsure
communication climate5
Communication Climate
  • Disconfirming Messages
    • Incongruous Responses
      • Contains two messages that seem to deny or contradict each other.
        • “Darling, I love you.”
        • “I love you, too.” (Said in a monotone while watching TV)
  • Disagreeing Messages
    • Aggressiveness
    • Complaining
    • Argumentativeness
communication climate6
Communication Climate
  • Confirming Messages
    • Recognition
      • Recognize the other person
    • Acknowledgement
      • Includes asking questions, paraphrasing and reflecting
    • Endorsement
      • The most obvious form of endorsement is agreeing
communication climate7
Communication Climate
  • How Communication Climates Develop
    • When two people start to communicate, a relational climate begins to develop
    • Verbal and nonverbal communication can be climate-shaping
    • After a climate is formed, it can take on a life of its own and become a self-perpetuating spiral
communication climate8
Communication Climate
  • Spirals
    • A reciprocating communication pattern in which each person’s message reinforces the others
communication climate9
Communication Climate
  • Spirals
    • Escalatory conflict spirals
      • A: (Mildly irritated) “Where were you? I thought we agreed to meet here a half-hour ago.”
      • B: (Defensively) “I’m sorry. I got hung up at the library. I don’t have as much free time as you do.”
      • A: “I wasn’t blaming you, so don’t get so touchy.”
      • B: “Who’s getting touchy? I just made a simple comment.”
communication climate10
Communication Climate
  • Spirals
    • De-escalatory conflict spirals
      • Rather than fighting, parties slowly lessen their dependence on each other, withdraw and become less invested in the relationship
    • Rarely go on indefinitely
    • Most relationships pass through cycles of progression and regression
defensiveness causes and remedies
Defensiveness: Causes and Remedies
  • Face-Threatening Acts
    • Messages that seem to challenge the image we want to project
    • Defensiveness becomes the process of protecting our presenting self, our face
  • Preventing Defensiveness in Others
    • Jack Gibb isolated six types of defense-arousing communication and six contrasting behaviors
defensiveness causes and remedies12
Defensiveness: Causes and Remedies
  • The Gibb Categories of Defensive and Supportive Behaviors

Table 10.3 Page 350

defensiveness causes and remedies13
Defensiveness: Causes and Remedies
  • Gibb Categories
    • Evaluation versus Description
      • Evaluation: “You don’t know what you’re talking about!”
      • Description: “I don’t understand how you came up with that idea.”
      • Evaluation: “This place is a mess!”
      • Description: “When you don’t clean up, I have to either do it, or live with your mess. That’s why I’m mad!”
defensiveness causes and remedies14
Defensiveness: Causes and Remedies
  • Gibb Categories
    • Control versus Problem Orientation
      • Controlling: “You need to stay off the phone for the next two hours.”
      • Problem orientation: “I’m expecting some important calls. Can we work out a way to keep the line open?”
      • Controlling: “There’s only one way to handle this problem.”
      • Problem orientation: “Lets work out a solution we can both live with.”
defensiveness causes and remedies15
Defensiveness: Causes and Remedies
  • Gibb Categories
    • Strategy versus Spontaneity
      • Strategy: What are you doing Friday after work?”
      • Spontaneity: “I have a piano I need to move Friday after work. Can you give me a hand?”
      • Strategy: “Tom and Judy go out to dinner every week.”
      • Spontaneity: “I’d like to go out to dinner more often.”
defensiveness causes and remedies16
Defensiveness: Causes and Remedies
  • Gibb Categories
    • Neutrality versus Empathy
      • Neutral: “That’s what happens when you don’t plan properly.”
      • Empathic: “Ouch – looks like this didn’t turn out the way you expected.”
      • Neutral: “Sometimes things just don’t work out. That’s the way it goes.”
      • Empathic: “I know you put a lot of time and effort into this project.”
defensiveness causes and remedies17
Defensiveness: Causes and Remedies
  • Gibb Categories
    • Superiority versus Equality
      • Superior: “You don’t know what you’re talking about.”
      • Equal: “I see it a different way.”
      • Superior: “No, that’s not the right way to do it!”
      • Equal: “If you want, I can show you a way that has worked for me.”
defensiveness causes and remedies18
Defensiveness: Causes and Remedies
  • Gibb Categories
    • Certainty versus Provisionalism
      • Certain: “That will never work!”
      • Provisional: “I think you’ll run into problems with that approach.”
      • Certain: “You don’t know what you’re talking about!”
      • Provisional: “I’ve never heard anything like that before. Where did you hear it?”
saving face
Saving Face
  • The Assertive Message Format
    • The five parts of the assertive message
      • Behavior
      • Interpretation
      • Feeling
      • Consequence
      • Intention
saving face20
Saving Face
  • The Assertive Message Format
    • Behavior
      • Describes the raw material to which you react
      • Example:
        • “One week ago John promised me that he would ask my permission before smoking in the same room with me. Just a moment ago he lit up a cigarette without asking for my OK.”
      • The statement only describe facts
      • There is no observer meaning attached
saving face21
Saving Face
  • The Assertive Message Format
    • Interpretation
      • Describes the meaning you’ve attached to the other person’s behavior
      • Example (two interpretations):
        • “John must have forgotten about our agreement that he wouldn’t smoke without asking me first. I’m sure he’s too considerate to go back on his word.”
        • “John is a rude, inconsiderate person. After promising not to smoke around me without asking, he’s just deliberately done so. This shows that he only cares about himself.”
saving face22
Saving Face
  • The Assertive Message Format
    • Feeling
      • Consider the difference between saying:
        • “When you laugh at me (behavior), I think you find my comments foolish (interpretation), and I feel embarrassed.”
        • “When you laugh at me, I think you find my comments foolish, and I feel angry.”
      • Some statements seem as if they’re expressing feeling but are actually expressing interpretations or statements of intention
saving face23
Saving Face
  • The Assertive Message Format
    • Consequence
      • What happens as a result of the situation
        • What happens to you, the speaker:
        • “When I didn’t get the phone message yesterday (behavior), I didn’t know that my doctor’s appointment was delayed and that I would end up sitting in the office for an hour when I could have been studying or working (consequences). It seems to me that you don’t care enough about how busy I am to even write a simple note (interpretation), and that’s why I’m so mad (feeling).”
saving face24
Saving Face
  • The Assertive Message Format
    • Intention
      • Can communicate three kinds of messages
        • Where you stand on an issue
          • “I want you to know that it bothers me.”
        • Requests of others
          • “I’d like to know if you are angry.”
        • Descriptions of how you plan to act in the future
          • “I want you to know that unless we clear this up now, you shouldn’t expect me ever to lend you anything again.”
saving face25
Saving Face
  • Using the Assertive Message Format
    • The elements may be delivered in mixed order
    • Word the message to suit your personal style
    • When appropriate, combine two elements in a single phrase
    • Take your time delivering the message
saving face26
Saving Face
  • Responding Nondefensively to Criticism
    • Seek more information
      • Ask for specifics
      • Guess about specifics
      • Paraphrase the speaker’s ideas
      • Ask what the critic wants
      • Ask about the consequences of your behavior
      • Ask what else is wrong
saving face27
Saving Face
  • Responding Nondefensively to Criticism
    • Agree with the critic
      • Agree with the facts
        • “You’re right, I am angry.”
        • “I suppose I was being defensive.”
        • “Now that you mention it, I did get pretty sarcastic.”
      • Agree with the critic's perception
        • “It’s silly to be angry.”
        • “You have no reason for being defensive.”
        • “You were wrong to be so sarcastic.”
chapter review
Chapter Review
  • Communication Climate: The Key to Positive Relationships
  • Defensiveness: Causes and Remedies
  • Saving Face