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Bs final

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Communication cliamte

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  2. 2. Communication Climates Personal relationships are a lot like the weather. Some are fair and warm, while others are stormy and cold; some are polluted, and others healthy. Some relationships have stable climates, while others change dramatically—calm one moment and turbulent the next. You can’t measure the interpersonal climate by looking at a thermometer or glancing at the sky, but it’s there nonetheless. Every relationship has a feeling, a pervasive mood that colors the interactions of the participants.
  3. 3. Although we can’t change the external weather, we can all act in ways that improve an interpersonal climate. This lesson will explain the forces that make some relationships happy and comfortable and others unpleasant. You will learn what kinds of behavior contribute to defensiveness and hostility, and what kinds lead to more positive feelings. After reading this, you will have a better idea of the climate in each of your important relationships . . . and even more important, how to improve it.
  4. 4. Four elements contribute to satisfying personal relationships • Investments are the contributions (e.g., time, energy, emotions) that we make to relationships without expecting to get them back if the relationship ends; in the most satisfying relationships, everyone feels like the investments made by all involved are roughly equal. • Commitment is the personal choice we make to keep a personal relationship alive in the future.
  5. 5. • Trust develops in a relationship as the people involved do what they say they will do and support each other. • Relational dialectics are the opposing forces or tensions inherent in everyday relational functioning.
  6. 6. Communication Climate: The Key to Positive Relationships • The term communication climate refers to the emotional tone of a relationship. A climate doesn’t involve specific activities as much as the way people feel about each other as they carry out those activities. Surely you’ve been in classes that are friendly, comfortable places to learn and others that are cold and tense, even hostile. The difference is climate. You’ll see the same sorts of differences in other contexts—family, friendships, and workplaces. If you’ve experienced both kinds of climates, you know what a difference climate makes.
  7. 7. • Research has shown that employees have a higher level of commitment at jobs in which they experience a positive communication climate. Studies also show that performance and job satisfaction increase when the communication climate is positive. Whether it’s the workplace, the classroom, or the home, people look for and stay in communication climates that affirm and support them.
  8. 8. Conforming and Disconfirming Communication • What makes a communication climate positive or negative? In large part, the answer is surprisingly simple. The tone of a relationship is shaped by the degree to which the people believe themselves to be valued by one another. • Social scientists use the term confirming communication to describe messages that convey valuing and disconfirming communication to define those that show a lack of regard. It’s obvious that confirming messages are more desirable than disconfirming ones. But what characteristics distinguish them? Actually, it’s an oversimplification to talk about one type of confirming message. In truth, confirming communication occurs on three increasingly positive levels.
  9. 9. • Recognition. The most fundamental act of confirmation is to recognize the other person. Recognition seems easy and obvious, and yet there are many times when we do not respond to others on this basic level. Failure to write or visit a friend is a common example. So is failure to return a phone message. Avoiding eye contact and not approaching someone you know on campus at a party or on the street sends a negative message. Of course, this lack of recognition may simply be an oversight. You might not notice your friend, or the pressures of work and school might prevent you from staying in touch. Nonetheless, if the other person perceives you as avoiding contact, the message has the effect of being disconfirming.
  10. 10. • Acknowledgement. Acknowledging the ideas and feelings of others is a stronger form of confirmation. Listening is probably the most common form of acknowledgement. Of course, counterfeit listening has the opposite effect of acknowledgement. More active acknowledgement includes asking questions, paraphrasing, and reflecting. As you read in Lesson 4, reflecting the speaker’s thoughts and feelings can be a powerful way to offer support when others have problems.
  11. 11. • Endorsement. Whereas acknowledging means you are interested in another’s ideas, endorsement means that you agree with them. It’s easy to see why endorsement is the strongest type of confirming message, since it communicates the highest form of valuing. The most obvious form of endorsement is agreeing. Fortunately, it isn’t necessary to agree completely with another person in order to endorse his or her message. You can probably find something in the message that you endorse. “I can see why you were so angry,” you might say to a friend, even though you don’t approve of his outburst. Of course, outright praise is a strong form of endorsement and one you can use surprisingly often once you look for opportunities to compliment others.
  12. 12. Guideline for Creating and Sustaining Healthy Climate 1. Monitor our communication so that we use it to create supportive rather than defensive climates. 2. We need to accept and confirm others while still being honest. 3. We need to make sure we affirm and assert (state what we need, feel, or want without putting ourselves above or below others) ourselves in a relationship.
  13. 13. 4. We need to self disclose when it is appropriate; use caution when choosing how much,when, and to whom to disclose. 5. Understand that there is not a single mold into which all relationships fit. 6. Find ways to respond effectively to criticism.