Skip to main content
Social Sci LibreTexts

8.1: Introduction to Communication Climate

  • Page ID
  • \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \) \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)\(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)\(\newcommand{\AA}{\unicode[.8,0]{x212B}}\)

    Defining Communication Climate

    Ever notice that as rain drops from the sky, your mood sometimes drops, too? You might chalk it up to coincidence if you feel meh on a dreary day. Sure, the Carpenters sang, “Rainy days and Mondays always get me down.” Rain can and does put a damper on the mood.

    So, too, the “climate” of our interpersonal communication may influence our mood. When someone acknowledges our ideas, we may feel “warm” inside with that positive validation. On the other hand, we might experience a “cold,” empty feeling if our ideas are totally ignored or attributed to someone else. You might think about communication climate as a sort of “interpersonal communication weather report.”

    Communication climate is the "overall feeling or emotional mood between people" (Wood, 2015, p. 218). If you dread family get-togethers because there is tension, or you look forward to getting together with friends because you know you will have a good time, you are responding to the communication climate— the overall mood that is created because of the people involved and the type of communication they bring to the interaction.

    Mother and child on a city street
    Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\): Smiles in the street from mom by Sai De Silva on Unsplash

    In this chapter, we will define and explore the basic principles of communication climate. Then, we will lay out some strategies for identifying, achieving, and responding to supportive and defensive patterns of communication. Lastly, we will explore some skills to support confirming communication climates. Understanding climate can help us communicate more purposefully to achieve our interpersonal needs and goals.

    Three people talking outside
    Figure \(\PageIndex{2}\): Young People in Conversation by Alexis Brown on Unsplash

    This page titled 8.1: Introduction to Communication Climate is shared under a CC BY 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Kim Yee & Armeda Reitzel (ASCCC Open Educational Resources Initiative (OERI)) .