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Chapter 10: Communication Climate

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Matthew Craig

on 17 November 2014

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Transcript of Chapter 10: Communication Climate

The communication climate is determined by the degree to which people see themselves as valued.
The importance of confirming messages

The importance of confirming messages
Chapter 10: Communication Climate
What is
Communication Climate?
How Communication Climates Develop
Levels of Message Confirmation
Climate Patterns
- Seek More Information

Transforming Negative Climates
The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.
Vince Lombardi

Refers to the social tone of a relationship.
Communication Climate Varies On Setting...

What are the Benefits of a Healthy Climate?
Higher level of commitment to group

Creates a positive environment

Promotes a positive experience

Encourages work
Why is it Important to Learn?
Communication Climates are constantly changing.

Being able to notice helps maintain a healthy balance.
Creating Positive

Offering Constructive Criticism
Reducing Defensiveness
The Gibb Categories of Defensive and Supportive Behaviors
The Gibb Categories of Defensive and Supportive Behaviors
Defensive Behaviors
1. Evaluation
2. Control
3. Strategy
4. Neutrality
5. Superiority
6. Certainty
Supportive Behaviors
1. Description
2. Problem Orientation
3. Spontaneity
4. Empathy
5. Equality
6. Provisionalism
Reducing Defensiveness
Evaluation vs. Description
An evaluative message judges the other person, usually in a negative way.
A way to offer your thoughts, feelings, and wants without judging the listener.
Control vs. Problem Orientation
Controlling communication occurs when a sender seems to be imposing a solution on the receiver with little regard for that person's needs or interests.
In problem orientation, communicators focus on finding a solution that satisfies both their own needs and those of the others involved.
Gibb uses strategy to characterize defense-arousing messages in which speakers hide their ulterior motives.
Being honest with others rather than manipulating them.
Neutrality vs. Empathy
This is used to describe a fourth behavior that arouses defensiveness, such as being indifferent.
Empathy helps rid communication of the quality of indifference.
Strategy vs. Spontaneity
Superiority vs. Equality
A defensive-arousing style of communication described by Gibb in which the sender states or implies that the receiver is not worthy of respect.
The ability to project oneself into another person's point of view in an attempt to experience the other's thoughts and feelings.
Certainty vs. Provisionalism
Implying that one's position is correct and other's ideas are not worth considering.
In which people may have strong opinions but are willing to acknowledge that they don't have a corner on the truth and will change their stand if another position seems more reasonable.
Offering Positive Criticism
Check your Motives
Before offering constructive criticism, you would do well to check your motives to be sure you have the others person's interest in mind-or at very least, that you're not motivated by ill will or revenge.
Choose a Good Time
Marriage researcher John Gottman says that a "harsh startup" is a key predictor of conversations that turn into destructive fights, so getting off on the right foot is crucial.
Buffer Negatives with Positives
A popular approach for offering constructive criticism is known as the
sandwich (or hamburger) method
. The idea is to sandwich your issue of concern between two positive comments.
Follow up
When offering constructive criticism, it is important not to sound patronizing when the receptor has followed your advice, but instead acknowledge their actions in a supportive tone.
Ask for specifics:
Often the vague attack of a critic is virtually useless, even if you sincerely want to change. A great way to determine whether or not an accusation is correct is by asking " What do i do that's unfair"

Guess about specifics:
On some occasions even your sincere and well-phrased request for specific details wont meet with success. In instances like these, you can often learn more clearly what is bothering the critic by guessing at the specifics of a complaint.

Climate Patterns

"Once a communication climate is formed, it can take on a life of it's own." pg, 323

Positive- Conciliatory statements; support, accepting responsibility, agreeing. The receiver is then likely to follow with a conciliatory response.

Example. Let's not fight lets talk about this, o.k.? Yes, your right lets not fight lets talk about this...

-Confrontive Acts which use criticism, hostile questions, or fault finding. Confrontive Acts are likely to trigger a aggressive response. This same pattern is true for other kinds of messages. Avoidance leads to avoidance, analysis evoked analysis, and so on.

Furthor studies illustrated of page 324, discuss video taped interactions were one partner revealed an accusation which triggered and accusation in response.

"It's always about you! No, it's always about!"

One abusive complaint is likely to produce a counter complaint or denial by the other. Evan with well adjusted couples, negative communications is more likely to be reciprocated than positive; once hostility is expressed,

Common Complaints about Men and Women
Man-"You use your emotions like a weapon, and stop looking at me like a project that your trying to fix! You fixate on what your thinking about instead of watching what your doing."

Women-"Your dishonest about what you want! And why is it that you think that it's ok to use that bathroom with the door open!"

Positive Spiral
- One confirming behavior can lead to a similar response from the other person.

Negative Spiral
- A negative comment will be given a similar response.

Confirming Messages
- There's no guarantee that others will regard even your best attempts at confirming messages the way you intend them.

1) Recognition

2) Acknowledgment

3) Endorsement

Disagree messages
- Essentially says that you are wrong. It can be constructive in which case the disagreement includes two of the confirming components we just discussed, Recognition and Acknowledgment. However, disagreeing messages can be so brutal and devastating that the benefits of recognition and acknowledgment can be lost. Because their are positive and negative messages the need to be put into a scale. This is discussed in the chapter with the following terms.

1) Argumentativeness

2) Complaining

3) Aggressiveness

Disconfirming Messages
- Is more subtle and potentially more damaging. Disconfirming Messages state communicate implicitly says, "You don't exist; your are not valued."

Impervious Response
- Fails to acknowledge the other person's communicative attempt, either verbally or non-verbally.

Interrupting Response
- As the name implies it occurs when one person begins to speak before the other is through making a point.

Irrelevant Response
- Making comments totally unrelated to what the other person is saying.

Tangential Response
- Acknowledgment that steers a person in another direction.

Impersonal Response
- The speaker conducts a monologue filled with detached, intellectualized, and generalized statements. Never really interacting with the other on a personal level.

Ambiguous Response
- Containing a message with more that one meaning.

Incongruous Response
- A response that contains two messages that seem to deny or contradict each other, one at the verbal level and the other at the nonverbal level.
Defensiveness- Protecting yourself from an attack.
Seldom it is associated to physical threat. Then what are we guarding against? Think back to chapter 3.
Presenting yourself and face- Consists of;

-Physical Traits

-Personality characteristics



When others are willing to accept and acknowledge important parts of our presenting image, there is no need to feel defensive. But, when we are confronted with face-threatening acts-messages that we perceive as challenging the image we want to project-we are likely to resist what they say. Defensiveness is the process of protecting our presenting self or, our face.
It is possible for a spiral to stop. Statements like, "Wait this is getting us now where, we should stop and try to work this out."

Spirals must end...

Passing the point of no return...

Lethal statements have a limit...

Good communication ability of the partners can make these times less frequent and intense.
Level of Message Confirmation

Climate Pattern
Why does some communication create a positive climate while others has the opposite effect?
Confirming Communication
To describe messages that convey valuing. "You matter, You exist, and you are important."
Disconfirming Communication
A lack of regard. " I don't like you, I don't care about you, You're not important to me."
Virtually whenever we communicate

We send a message that constantly changes either through confirming or disconfirming.

It isn't what we communicate

It is how we communicate. We must recognize how we speak and act toward one another in order to maintain a positive relational climate.

Children who lack confirmation suffer a broad range of emotional and behavioral problems.
While those that feel confirmed have more open communication with their parents, higher selfesteem, and lower levels of stress.
In the classroom, confirming communication by teachers has been shown to enhance student learning and participation while reducing negative behaviors.
In Marriage a confirmation climate is one of the best predictor of marital satisfaction. According to our text a satisfied couple will have a ratio of,

5:1 positive to negative statements.

While the ratio for dissatisfied partners is 1:1.

Interpreting Confirming or disconfirming messages
Like Beauty, The decision about whether a message is confirming or disconfirming is in the eyes of the beholder.
Consider anytime that you took a comment from an outsider as a sign of affection within the context of your personal relationship.

Likewise, a comment that the sender might have meant to be helpful "I'm telling you this for your own good." Could easily be regarded as a disconfirming attack.

How Communication Climates Develop
Paraphrase the speakers ideas:
It is especially good in helping others solve their problems. one advantage of paraphrasing is not having to guess about the specifics of your behavior that might be offensive.
Ex: Costumer: "I hated the food, it was undercooked." Manager: " So you didn't enjoy the food?
Ask What the critic wants:

Simply ask what your critics demand is
Ex: When a costumer at a store seems upset a manager may go up to the guet and ask what is wrong.
Ask about the consequences of your behavior
As a rule, people complain about your actions only when some need of theirs is not being met.
To respond to this criticism ask the critic how your decision affects them.

Ask what else is wrong:
Sometimes asking about other complaints can uncover the real problem.
Transforming Negative Climates
- Agree with the critic

Agree with the truth when another persons criticism is factually correct.
Do this without demeaning yourself
Agree with the truth :
Agree with the Odds:
sometimes a critic will point out the possible unpleasant consequences of your behavior.
Agree in principle:
criticism often comes in the form of abstract ideals against which you're unfavorably compared.

Agree with the critic's perception:
A situation in which there is no truth to the criticisms put forward. You cant agree with the odds, and you cant even accept the principle the critics putting forward. Agree not with the critics conclusion but with their right to perceive things their way.
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