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IPC Chapter 11 Notes

by: RachelB

IPC Chapter 11 Notes COMM 1076

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Chapter 11- Communication Climate
Intro to Interpersonal communication (COMM-1076-002)
Dr. Shaorong Huang
Class Notes
interpersonal communication
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by RachelB on Monday March 14, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to COMM 1076 at University of Cincinnati taught by Dr. Shaorong Huang in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 21 views. For similar materials see Intro to Interpersonal communication (COMM-1076-002) in Psychlogy at University of Cincinnati.


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Date Created: 03/14/16
IPC Buckel Chapter 11- Communication Climate Communication Climates  Communication Climate (CC)- the emotional tone of a relationship between two or more individuals o It does not involve specific activities as much as the way people feel about each other as they carry out those activities o Ex) if you were taking two of the same exact classes with the same exact syllabus, one class could be warm and fun while the other could be cold and hostile. The communication climate determines this  CC’s are shared by everyone involved (it’s rare to find differing views between members of a relationship)  CC’s are determined by the degree to which people see themselves as valued  Confirming Communication- a message that expresses caring or respect for another person; the person is valued by the speaker o in one form or another, they say “you exist” “you matter” “you’re important”  Disconfirming Communication- a message that expresses a lack of caring or respect for another person; the person is not valued by the speaker o In one form or another, they say “I don’t like you” “you’re not important to me”  At home, children who lack confirmation suffer a broad range of emotional and behavioral problems, whereas those who feel confirmed have more open communication with their parents, higher self-esteem, 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  The interpretation of a message as confirming or disconfirming is subjective- context and the person giving/receiving the message are factors Levels of Message Confirmation Confirming Messages  Recognition- recognizing the other person is fundamental. Failure to respond to an email or text message, avoiding eye contact, etc., can send negative messages  Acknowledgment- this is a stronger form of confirmation than recognition. Listening is probably the most common form of acknowledgment. Attending and responding to another person’s words is a measure of your interest.  Endorsement- this means that you agree with him/her or otherwise find them important. This is the strongest type of confirming message because it communicates the highest form of valuing o Ex) saying things like “you’re right about that” is an endorsement of others’ feelings Disagreeing Messages  Disagreeing Messages- a message that essentially communicates to another person, “you are wrong” and includes argumentativeness, complaining, and aggressiveness  Disagreement includes two of the confirming components: recognition and acknowledgment  The three types of disagreement: o Argumentativeness- presenting and defending positions on issues while attacking positions taken by others  This is sometimes associated with a number of positive attributes: enhanced self- concept, leadership emergence, and communicative competence o Complaining- a disagreeing message that directly or indirectly communicates dissatisfaction with another person  Complaining is not a sign of a troubled relationship (it’s good to get concerns out in the open), but communication shouldn’t be filled with disrespectful criticisms o Aggressiveness- verbal attacks that demean others’ self-concept and inflict psychological pain  It is linked to serious consequences such as physical violence in marriages, juvenile delinquency, lower self-esteem, depression, etc. Disconfirming Messages  Disconfirming messages are more subtle than disagreeing ones, but are potentially more damaging  Impervious Response- fails to acknowledge the other person’s communicative attempt, either verbally or nonverbally- they are most common when adults and children communicate o Ex) parents often become enraged when they are ignored by their children; likewise, children feel diminished when adults pay no attention to their questions, comments, or requests  Interrupting Response- occurs when one person begins to speak before the oterh is through making a point  Irrelevant Response- making comments totally unrelated to what the other person was just saying  Tangential Response- does acknowledge the other person’s communication, however, the acknowledgment is used to steer the conversation in a new direction  Impersonal Response- the speaker conducts a monologue filled with detached, intellectualized, and generalized statements  Ambiguous response- contains a message with more than one meaning. The words are highly abstract or have meanings private to the speaker alone (“are you mad at me?” “I feel the same about you as I always do”)  Incongruous response- contains two messages that seem to deny or contradict each other, one at the verbal level and one at the nonverbal level (teacher: “did you enjoy the class?” Student: yes. *yawns*) Defensiveness  Defensiveness- the process of protecting our presenting self, our face. o Ex) you’d probably feel defensive/threatened if an instructor criticized you in front of the class, if a friend called you self-centered, or your boss labeled you as lazy  Face-threatening Acts- messages that we perceive as challenging the image we want to project  Defense-provoking topics can vary by sex (as seen in a study): o Males typically interpret messages about mental or physical errors (misfiling a file or tripping on a carpet) more defensively than women o Men and women got equally defensive over messages about their clothes and hair, but women got more defensive over messages regarding weight  In-group criticisms are tolerated better than out-group criticisms, which are usually met with defensiveness  Defensiveness is interactive- all communicators contribute to the climate of a relationship Climate Patterns  Once a communication climate is formed, positive or negative, it can take on a life of its own  Spiral- a reciprocal communication pattern in which messages reinforce one another o Ex) conciliatory statements are likely to be followed by conciliatory responses (supporting, accepting responsibility, agreeing), Confrontive acts (criticism, hostile questions, faultfinding) are likely to trigger aggressive responses Creating Supportive Climates Evaluation vs Description  Evaluation- a message in which a sender judges a receiver in some way, usually resulting in a defensive response o Ex) “You don’t care about me!” is an expression that judges the feelings of the receiver rather than describing the speaker’s own thoughts, feelings, and wants  Description- a way to offer your thoughts, feelings, and wants without judging the listener o Description focuses on behavior that can be changed rather than on personal characteristics that cannot. Descriptive messages often use “I” language, which tends to provoke less defensiveness than “you” language Control vs Problem Orientation  Controlling Communication- when a sender seems to be imposing a solution on the receiver with little regard for that person’s needs or interests o Ex) where to eat dinner, how to spend a large sum of money  Problem Orientation- communicators focus on finding a solution that satisfies both their own needs and those of the others involved Strategy vs Spontaneity  Strategy- to characterize defense-arousing messages in which speakers hide their ulterior motives (dishonesty and manipulation)  Spontaneity- being honest with others rather than manipulating them Neutrality vs Empathy  Neutrality- a defense-arousing behavior in which the sender expresses indifference toward a receiver  Empathy- the ability to project oneself into another person’s point of view in an attempt to experience the other’s thoughts and feelings Superiority vs Equality  Superiority- a defense-arousing style of communication in which the sender states or implies that the receiver is inferior  Equality- a type of supportive communication which suggests that the sender regards the receiver with respect Certainty vs Provisionalism  Certainty- dogmatically stating or implying that one’s position is correct and others’ ideas are not worth considering; likely to arouse defensiveness  Provisionalism- a supportive style of communication in which a sender expresses open- mindedness to others’ ideas and 0pinions Invitational Communication  Invitational Communication- an approach that welcomes others to see your point of view and to freely share their own o Communicators offer ideas without coercion; they listen to ideas with an open mind; exchange ideas without pressure The Language of Choice  Wording focuses on decisions made (will, going to), not grudging acquiescence (should, have to). It is based on choices instead of obligations o Ex) “I’m going to talk to my neighbor about the barking dog” (I want to settle this problem) or “I will start being nicer to my roommate” (I want a better relationship) Responding Nondefensively to Criticism  Seek more information- it’s foolish to respond to a critical attack until you understand what the other person has said o Ask for specifics- often the vague attack of a critic is virtually useless, even if you sincerely want to change  Agree with the critic- one way to agree with the critic is to agree with the truth. Another way is to agree with the principle. Criticism often comes in the form of abstract ideals against which you’re unfavorably compared. Also, agree with the critic’s perception. These responses tell critics that you’re acknowledging the reasonableness of their perceptions, even though you don’t agree or wish to change your behavior


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