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8.6: Summary and Review

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    In this chapter, we have introduced and discussed how to create a supportive climate with confirming responses to promote positive, effective communication in a variety of contexts. The idea of communication climate is similar to a weather report. Is the communication interaction a warm and sunny experience or does it feel more like a chilly and dismal exchange? Is it such a cold, negative, disconfirming encounter that it leaves you feeling numb, almost as if you have frostbite? Communication climate can definitely affect our mood, impact our behavior, and even influence our self-identity.

    Communication climate was defined as the "overall feeling or emotional mood between people" (Wood, 2015). We identified and described the characteristics of supportive and defensive communication climates, along with a discussion of specific types of confirming and disconfirming responses that could influence our feel for a conversation. Context and culture do matter!

    So whether you are heading for a family get-together, an evening with friends, an employee work evaluation, or a team meeting, consider the role of communication climate in the forecast of a potentially terrible or terrific experience.

    A boy and a girl on the shore, holding hands, with the boy pointing to the horizon
    Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\): Two children looking at the horizon by Torsten Dederichs on Unsplash

    Discussion Questions

    1. How can you adjust for a supportive communication climate when communicating online versus face-to-face?
    2. Select a friend with whom you have a good relationship. Pay attention to your communication climate. How do you and your friend demonstrate attending, affirming, and accepting messages to build a confirming climate?
    3. Think about a situation where the communication climate could use some improvement. What are some verbal and nonverbal messages you can use to try and turn that climate in a more positive direction?

    This page titled 8.6: Summary and Review 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)) .