Ommunication Climates as the Foundation of Our Relationships

Essay: Analyzing Climates

Communication research suggests that different climates in relationships emerge as a direct result of the types of communication used by the relational partners. Jack Gibb has identified six types of communication that promote defensive climates and six types that promote supportive climates.

Your assignment has two parts. First, you must develop your skill in transforming communication that fosters defensive climates into more supportive communication. Next, you will analyze how defensive or supportive communication has influence the climate in a key relationship in your life.


Translate the following messages that are likely to foster defensiveness into statements that are likely to foster supportive climates. Each statement is labeled to indicate what type of defensive communication it conveys.


Statement of Evaluation:
You are such a whiner.

Statement of Description:
Ive noticed that youre making a lot of complaints lately.

Sentences to be translated:

The right decision is staring you in the face. (Certainty)
Dont you owe me a favor back from when I helped you move? (Strategy)
I think we should move to the city where I have received a job offer since Ill earn a larger salary than you will ever be able to earn. (Control)
That color looks bad on you. Ill go shopping with you some time and pick out better clothes for you to wear. (Superiority)
I dont want to get involved in your fight with your brother; quit talking about it. (Neutrality)

Think of a key relationship in your life that has either a defensive or a supportive climate. In a well-developed paragraph analyze how the communication between you and this other person creates a negative or positive climate. Use specific examples of your communication to illustrate your analysis of the relational climate.


Your essay should be at least 3-4 paragraphs in length and formatted using double-spaced type in a 12-point font. If using outside sources all source citation should adhere to the guidelines of the APA style guide.

The book we use is called Interpersonal Communication Everyday Encounters By Julia T. Wood