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Improving communication Climates

Improving communication Climates

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Improving communication Climates

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  1. Improving communication Climates Chapter topics • Communication Climate: The Key to Positive Relationships • Defensiveness: Causes and Remedies • Saving Face

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Communication Climate • Spirals • A reciprocating communication pattern in which each person’s message reinforces the others

  9. 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.”

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Defensiveness: Causes and Remedies • The Gibb Categories of Defensive and Supportive Behaviors Table 10.3 Page 350

  13. 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!”

  14. 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.”

  15. 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.”

  16. 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.”

  17. 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.”

  18. 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?”

  19. Saving Face • The Assertive Message Format • The five parts of the assertive message • Behavior • Interpretation • Feeling • Consequence • Intention

  20. 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

  21. 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.”

  22. 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

  23. 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).”

  24. 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.”

  25. 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

  26. 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

  27. 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.”

  28. Chapter Review • Communication Climate: The Key to Positive Relationships • Defensiveness: Causes and Remedies • Saving Face