Chapter 7: Communication Climates

Learning Objectives

After reading this chapter you should be able to:

  • Describe confirming and disconfirming climates
  • Discuss the types of conflict
  • Describe the strategies for managing conflict

Do you feel organized or confined in a clean workspace? Are you more productive when the sun is shining than when it’s gray and cloudy outside? Just as factors like weather and physical space impact us, communication climate influences our interpersonal interactions in a variety of ways.

Communication climate is the “overall feeling or emotional mood between people” (Wood, 245). If you dread going to visit your family during the holidays because of tension between you and your sister or you look forward to dinner with a particular set of friends because they make you laugh, 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. Every communication situation has a unique climate. If you are more open and aware of these climates, you can communicate better while participating in them. Additionally, your awareness and example can help others to communicate better. Let’s look at two different types of communication climates: confirming and disconfirming climates.



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