Communication Climates, Responses, and Dynamics

Topics: Nonverbal communication, Communication, Team Pages: 5 (1704 words) Published: June 7, 2011
Communication Climates, Responses, and Dynamics

COM 330

This paper will discuss small teams on a reality show called “There goes the Neighborhood”. This show is about a neighborhood that allows a brick wall to gate them in and they must learn to work together, not only as a family, but as neighbors too. In the beginning of the game, everything is taken away from them. For example, all of the luxuries such as appliances, televisions, snacks, video games, and children’s toys were all removed. There was no need for their cars since there was a huge wall around the neighborhood. These teams not only had to learn to become a team, but it would also teach them to appreciate everything that they have. The game encourages team work, because without teamwork the teams would lose the challenges that are presented to both teams. Even though the challenges are staged, they push the competitors to extreme emotional, physical, and mental states. The challenges are rewarded with prizes for the winning team.

Defensive and supportive climates are always going to be a part of communication. With that in mind we look at a certain style and that is certainty vs. provisionalism. The Nelson Family seems to believe that everything should go their way, and were working on the Johnston’s as allies to get rid of the people they did not like. Since the Nelson family did not approve of the Mullinax family because they were lesbian mothers they wanted them out of the game. This shows certainty because they were very defensive on the subject. The other families showed provisionalism because they were open to the Mullinax’s situation. This began to tear families apart and finally the other families were tired of being followers and kicked the Nelson family off. Later on in the game, the families started to notice that the Mullinax family was just giving excuses every week for why they should not be eliminated. First it was for stereotypes, and then it was for nobody liking them, and this week it was they live paycheck to paycheck and have two children going to college soon. It seemed as though other family members were getting tired of the excuses and felt as if they might be using it to their advantage to win the game, so they eliminated the Mullinax’s. The Mullinax’s started to show defensive behavior thinking it would save them and people would show sympathy for them, but it seemed to backfire on them. The person who behaves defensively, even though he or she also gives some attention to the common task, devotes an appreciable portion of energy to defending himself or herself. Besides talking about the topic, he thinks about how he appears to others, how he may be seen more favorably, how he may win, dominate, impress or escape punishment, and/or how he may avoid or mitigate a perceived attack. (Gibb, n.d.)

This same situation takes place in confirming and disconfirming responses. During the elimination ceremony, the Mullinax family poured their hearts out stating that the Nelson family made them feel outside of the core. The Nelson family showed disconfirming responses by failing to acknowledge them and talking to other family members while they were talking. This also showed their nonverbal behavior such as rolling their eyes and smiling at their family members. Nonverbal communication is defined as all the messages that people transmit through means other than words (Alberts, 2007). The Nelson’s would someday see themselves on television and see how much they used non-verbal behavior in a negative way. Sometimes people have to acknowledge someone’s negative non-verbal behavior before the main person recognizes it. Other families tuned in and really listened to what the Mullinax family had to say and showed confirming responses. None of the other families knew that was how the Mullinax family felt deep inside and they changed their minds to eliminate the Nelson family.

Cohesiveness relates to the degree to which members are...

References: Alberts, Jess K. (2007) Human Communication in Society Nonverbal Communication (144-161) Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall
Gibb, Jack R.. (n.d.). Defensive Communication. In Definition and Significance. Retrieved Sept 13, 2009, from
Kinicki, A., & Kreitner, R. (2004). Organizational behavior: Teams and Teamwork for the 21st
Century. New York: The McGraw-Hill Companies.
LeVrier, Peggy. (n.d.). Parent University. In Establishing your posture as an effective listener. Retrieved Sept 13, 2009, from
Ratzburg, Wilf H.. (n.d.). Group Cohesiveness. In Organizational Behavior. Retrieved September 13, 2009, from
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