Climate and Conflict in Interpersonal Communication

All married couples should learn the art of battle as they should learn the art of making love. Good battle is objective and honest—never vicious or cruel. Good battle is healthy and constructive, and brings to a marriage the principle of equal partnership.

—Ann Landers, advice columnist

The climate, or tone and mood, of a communication event is tied very closely to conflict in an interpersonal relationship. Certainly, if there is conflict, it can darken the mood of an event. But conflict can also be a very good thing for relationships. As Ann Landers notes, a good battle can be healthy, and can lead to a better climate for constructive communication.

In this final week of the course, you will synthesize your learning from the past five weeks, as well as delve deeper into interpersonal relationships and look at how the climate of communication and conflict between those in a relationship can affect the relationship as a whole. Keep in mind, however, that this is just the beginning of your journey.

Interpersonal communication is a skill set that can be improved upon over a lifetime, and it only gets better with practice. Take pride in what you have accomplished over these weeks and anticipate the future you can have through effective interpersonal communication.

This week, you will complete the sixth and final milestone and submit your Final Project.

Learning Objectives

Students will:
  • Explain the features of a satisfying interpersonal relationship
  • Evaluate the effects of disconfirming behaviors on an interpersonal communication event
  • Apply interpersonal communication theories and concepts to the analysis of authentic situations
  • Assess outcomes of interpersonal communication events
  • Appraise interpersonal communication knowledge

Learning Resources

REQUIRED READINGS

Hogrefe, R. (2016, May 28). Disconfirming Messages. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLCwLVtUW8Kd…

Jenkinson, P. (2014, June 3). Communication Climates: Jack Gibb. Retrieved from

https://youtu.be/2neS18k88D4

REQUIRED MEDIA

Laureate Education. (Producer). (2016f). Climate and conflict [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.
Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 5 minutes.

HOMEWORK:

1.Discussion: The Climate of Interpersonal Communication

Have you noticed any changes in your interpersonal communication style and skills since Week 1 of this course? If you can name even one element of your communication habits that has changed, then you are already experiencing the impact of interpersonal communication.

One factor that can easily change an interpersonal interaction is the climate of the interaction. One minute things can be comfortable and easy, and the next someone does or says something that makes the situation feel uncomfortable and tense. The implications of disconfirming behaviors is the topic of this Discussion.

To prepare:

  • View the YouTube video Gibb’s Communication Climate by Patricia Harris-Jenkinson.
  • View the YouTube video Interpersonal – Disconfirming Messages by Rick Hogrefe.
  • View the media located in this week’s Learning Resources.
  • Consider the climate in your different relationships. Think of times you have experienced disconfirming messages.

Post by Day 3, 1–2 paragraphs that address the following:

  1. Choose a relationship where you have experienced disconfirming messages. Describe the relationship and tell us about the overall climate of that relationship.
  2. Describe the disconfirming communication that took place. What was the outcome of it? What can you do in the future to help create a positive communication climate?

2.Assignment: Interpersonal Communication Skills Evaluation

Have you noticed any changes in your interpersonal communication style and skills since Week 1 of this course? If you can name even one thing that has changed, then you are already experiencing the impact of interpersonal communication.

For your assignment this week, you will be looking at your growth as an Interpersonal Communicator. You will be asked to look back at all you have learned this term and think about your own strengths and weaknesses as an Interpersonal Communicator.

In preparation:

  • Think about the concepts you have studied this term. These can be concepts from any week of the course.
  • Make a list of your own strengths and weaknesses as an Interpersonal Communicator.
  • Consider how these play out in your own relationships.

The Assignment:

Write a 1-2 page paper that address the following:

  1. Name two areas of Interpersonal Communication that you believe are strengths of yours. Explain why you feel they are strengths and give examples of how you use this in your own relationships. Be sure to apply concepts from your course resources.
  2. Name two areas of Interpersonal Communication that you believe are weaknesses of yours. Explain why you feel they are weaknesses of yours and give strategies to overcome them. Be sure to apply concepts from your course resources.

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