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Communication Climate

By bintbipolar Apr 15, 2013 768 Words
Communication Climate:  The Key To Positive Relationships

Why is Communication Difficult?

When two people talk, six possible messages get through
What you mean to say
What you actually say
What the other person hears
What the other person thinks he hears
What the other person says about what you said
What you think the other person said about what you said.

Definition: Communication climate refers to the emotional tone of the relationship.

Communication is the lifeblood of every relationship. When open, clear, sensitive communication takes place, the relationship is nurtures. When communication is guarded, hostile or ineffective, the relationship falters. Organizational communication can definitely affect employee productivity and retention.

Studies show that performance and job satisfaction increase when the communication climate is positive.

Confirming communication

Confirming communication-messages that convey valuing
Disconfirming- messages that show lack of regard.

Types of Confirming Messages

1. Recognition
The most fundamental act of confirmation is to recognize

2. Acknowledgement-Listening is the most common form of acknowledgement

3. Endorsement
You agree with the ideas of the speaker

Type of Disconfirming Messages

1.Impervious Response- Ignoring another person
2.Verbal Abuse- Communication that appears to be designed to create pain 3.Generalized Complaining- Disconfirming because it implies character fault 4. Interrupting-
5.Irrelevant Response- A comment unrelated to what the person has just said 6.Tangential Response- Instead of ignoring, the other party uses the remarks to start a new conversation 7.Impersonal Responses- loaded with clichés; get used to it, that's life. 8.Ambiguous Responses- Containing messages with more than one meaning 9.Incongruous Responses- Two messages that seem to contradict each other

How Communication Climates Develop

After a climate is formed it can take on a life of its own and grow into a self-perpetuating spiral: a reciprocating communication pattern in which each person's message reinforces the others.

Escalatory Conflict Spirals happen when one attack leads to another

De-escalatory Conflict Spirals: Rather than fighting, the parties slowly lessen their dependence on one another, withdraw and become less interested in the relationship.  

Defensiveness Causes and Remedies

Defensiveness suggests guarding yourself from an attack.
Probably no communication pollutes and interpersonal climate more often than defensive spirals.   Face-Threatening Acts- messages that challenge the image we want to project.  Often results in defensiveness.

Types of Defensive Reactions

Cognitive Dissonance
Inconsistency between two conflicting pieces of information, attitudes, or behavior

Attacking the Critic.
Verbal aggression:" Where do you get off calling me lazy?  At least I know how to do my job properly" Sarcasm: Disguising the counterattack in a barbed, humorous message: "You think I should take on more projects?  Thanks for taking a break from chit chatting on the phone to run my mood."

Distorting Critical Information

Rationalization is the invention of logical but untrue explanations of behavior that is acceptable to the self. " I would help you out, but I really have tons of work." Compensation: Uses a strength in one area to cover up a weakness in another: "I may not be punctual but I am hard worker!" Regression: Play helpless: "I'd like to have a sit down with you right now but I just can't.  (Won't should replace can't)

Avoiding Dissonant Information

Physical Avoidance: Steering clear of people who attack a presenting self. Repression: We mentally block out dissonant information
Apathy: Acknowledging unpleasant information but pretending that you don't care about it. Displacement: We vent aggressive of hostile feelings against people or objects that are seen as less threatening than the people or objects that threatened us originally.

Scenario 1

"You don't know what you're talking about!"
Description: "I don't understand how you came up with that idea."

"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?"

"That's what happens when you don't plan."
Empathetic: "Looks like this didn't turn out the way you expected."

Certain: "That will never work."
Provisional: "I think you'll run into problems with that approach."

Responding Nondefensively to Criticism

* 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

Agree with the facts
"You're right, I am angry."
Agree with the critics perception
"I know I'm late. There was an accident downtown, and the streets are jammed."

Communication is a very important element in organizational success. Decreased productivity, conflict, and chaos can all be attributed to a lack of effective communication in the workplace . Effective communication can help increase productivity and stimulate harmony at work.

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