Analyzing Communication Climates

Chapter 10 discusses the concept of “communication climates“. Basically, it is a term used to describe the emotional tone of a relationship. Weather metaphors are a helpful way of describing the emotional tone of our relationships and give us an idea of the quality of a relationship without having to do an in-depth analysis. Examples of a communication climate could be something like: “Sunny” for a happy relationship, “Cloudy” for a relationship that is difficult or depressing, “Stormy” if there is a lot of conflict”, etc. Just imagine the weather outside on a given day and how it makes you feel and that is the similar comparison you would make in a relationship.

That being said, below is an activity designed to get you to think about some of the “communication climates” in your own relationships”. Read the questions below and respond with a few sentences answering each of the questions.

1. Identify the communication climate of an important interpersonal relationship using weather metaphors like “sunny, gloomy, rainy, calm, etc.

2. List the communication that created and now maintains that “climate”. List both verbal and non-verbal messages like “complimenting one another”, “listening to each other”, “arguing a lot”, etc.

3. Describe what you can do to either maintain the climate (if it is positive) or to improve the climate (if it is negative). Again, think about verbal and nonverbal messages like “asking more questions”, “making more eye contact”, “less interrupting”, “more smiling”, etc.


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