communication climate n.
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COMMUNICATION CLIMATE. Relationships = Weather fair & warm stormy & cold polluted clear & healthy Key to Positive Relationships. What are the features of satisfying personal relationships?. Investment Commitment Trust Self-disclosure Comfort with Relational Dialectics

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communication climate


Relationships = Weather

fair & warm

stormy & cold


clear & healthy

Key to Positive Relationships

what are the features of satisfying personal relationships
What are the features of satisfying personal relationships?
  • Investment
  • Commitment
  • Trust
    • Self-disclosure
  • Comfort with Relational Dialectics
    • Autonomy/Connection
    • Novelty/Prediction
    • Openness/Closedness
negotiating dialectical tensions
Negotiating Dialectical Tensions
  • Four Ways:
    • Neutralization-negotiate a balance b/t needs
    • Selection-give priority to one over the other
    • Separation-assign each to other spheres of interaction
    • Reframing-redefine contradictory needs not in opposition
what makes communication climates positive or negative
What makes communication climates positive or negative?
  • The degree to which people feel valued by one another
    • Confirming Communication=messages conveying value
    • Disconfirming Communication=messages conveying lack of regard
levels of message
Levels of Message

Confirm & Disconfirm

disconfirming messages 7 types
Disconfirming Messages-7 types
  • Impervious: no acknowledgement of other’s message
  • Interrupting: speak before other finishes
  • Irrelevant: comment unrelated to what other just said
  • Tangential: “take-away”-shift to different topic
  • Impersonal: cliché
  • Ambiguous: more than one meaning
  • Incongruous: contradicting messages
disagreeing messages you re wrong
Disagreeing Messages- “You’re wrong”
  • Aggressive: most destructive, attacks other’s self-concept-name calling, put-downs, sarcasm, taunting, yelling, badgering
  • Complaining: desire to note dissatisfaction/not argue
  • Argumentativeness: defending while attacking
confirming messages
Confirming Messages
  • Recognition: most fundamental-return hellos, return an email or phone message
  • Acknowledgment: interested in ideas & feelings of others-stronger form of confirm-Listening most common-asking questions, paraphrasing, reflecting
  • Endorsement: agreeing with other/find other’s ideas important, communicating the highest form of valuing-also, praising & complimenting
defensiveness face threatening
  • Distorting Critical Information
    • Rationalization
    • Compensation
    • Regression
  • Avoiding Dissonant Information
    • Physical avoidance
    • Repression
    • Apathy
    • Displacement
gibb s categories useful tools
Gibb’s Categories-Useful Tools
  • Evaluation vs Description
    • Judgments, “you” language vs description of behavior using “I” language

-You don’t know what you’re talking about!


-I don’t understand how you came up with that idea.

-Those jokes are disgusting!


-When you tell those off-color jokes, I get really embarrassed.

more gibb
More Gibb
  • Control vs Problem-Orientation
    • Imposing a solution with little regard of other vs
    • Finding a solution that satisfies both

There’s only one way to handle this problem…


Looks like we have a problem. Let’s work out a solution we can both live with.

more gibb1
More Gibb
  • Strategy vs Spontaneity
    • Hiding ulterior motives vs being honest w/o manipulation

Tom and Judy go out to dinner every week.


I’d like to go out to dinner more often.

more gibb2
More Gibb
  • Neutrality vs Empathy
    • Indifference vs accepting/putting self in other’s place

That’s what happens when you don’t plan properly.


Ouch—looks like this didn’t turn out the way you expected.

more gibb3
More Gibb
  • Superiority vs Equality
    • I am better than you messages vs others have worth

You don’t know what you’re talking about.


I see it a different way.

more gibb4
More Gibb
  • Certainty vs Provisionalism
    • Dogmatism, I’m right vs changeable/reasonable

That will never work.


I think you’ll run into problems with that approach.

saving face
Saving Face
    • Behavioral description-should be objective-just the facts
      • “Chris has acted differently over the last week. I cannot remember her laughing once since the dinner party. She hasn’t dropped by my place like she usually does, hasn’t suggested we play tennis and has not returned by phone calls.”
    • Interpretation-meaning you have attached to behavior
      • “Something must be bothering Chris. It’s probably her family. She’ll probably just feel worse if I keep pestering her.”
      • “Chris is probably mad at me. It’s probably because I kidded her about losing so often at tennis. I’d better leave her alone until she cools off.”
more assertive message format
More Assertive Message Format
  • Feeling statement-this adds a new dimension to message
    • “When you laugh at me, I think you find my comments foolish, and I feel embarrassed.”
    • Remember not to use counterfeit phrasing-I feel you’re wrong or I feel like leaving…
  • Intention statement-where you stand, requests and future action
    • “When I didn’t hear from you last night, I thought you were mad at me. I’ve been thinking about it ever since, and I’m still worried. I’d like to know whether your are angry.”
responding non defensively to criticism
Responding Non-Defensively to Criticism
  • Seek more information
    • Ask for specifics
    • Guess about specifics
    • Paraphrase
    • Ask what the critic wants
  • Agree with the critic
    • Agree with the facts
    • Agree with the critic’s perception
four guidelines for creating healthy climates
Four Guidelines for creating healthy climates
  • Actively build confirming climates
  • Accept & confirm others
  • Affirm & assert yourself
  • Respect diversity in relationships
using descriptive language
Using Descriptive Language

This paper is poorly done


This paper does not include relevant background information.

How might the following be directed at you?

  • You’re lazy.
  • I hate the way you dominate conversations with me.
  • Stop obsessing about the problem.
  • You’re too involved.
communicating assertively
Communicating Assertively
  • I guess your preference for going to the party is more important than my studying.
  • I don’t need your permission to go out. I’ll do what I please.
  • I suppose I could work extra next week if you really need a loan.
  • I don’t like it when you spend time with Tim. Either stop seeing him, or we’re through.